OPP say one person is dead as a result of a collision on Highway 401 near Brockville. OPP also worked to clear what they estimated to be a 30-vehicle pileup in the westbound lanes of the Highway west of Napanee.
In the early afternoon Wednesday, reports of multiple collisions across eastern Ontario on Highway 401 prompted OPP to ask motorist to avoid the highway — and driving — at all costs, considering the dangerous conditions.
OPP warned hospitals near Napanee to expect a large influx of patients with minor injuries, but police are not reporting serious injuries from the collision.
Const. Shannon Cork says along with the large pileup, there were about six other collisions on the highway near Napanee that OPP were trying to attend.
OPP are urging people to stay away from the highway following the large collision, and several other collisions along the highway.
People stranded on the highway near Napanee were transported to the Strathcona Paper Centre, which was used as a warming centre.
Cork said OPP from across the region rushed to the highway to help with the collisions and were asking people to avoid driving altogether since the roads were dangerous due to poor weather conditions.
Environment Canada issued a weather advisory for the Kingston and Brockville regions for intense snowfall on Wednesday.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, OPP reopened the westbound lanes of the highway to allow traffic to move through the area.
Collisions also occurred in the Brockville region, including one that killed one person, according to OPP.
OPP say they were called to the highway around noon on Wednesday to respond to a collision. Just moments later, police say a second collision involving eight vehicles occurred. The fatality happened during the second collision, according to OPP.
Police say several other collisions took place following the first two.
As of Thursday morning, the westbound lanes of the Highway 401 remained closed between Maitland and Brockville due to the collisions.
Provincial police say they were working to remove up to 25 vehicles from the highway.
Brockville OPP did not respond to requests for further comment but said they will provide more information once it becomes available.