Three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after four vehicles reportedly struck a tire that was in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 in Port Hope on Monday evening.
Port Hope and Cobourg emergency crews responded to the crash scene in the eastbound lanes of the highway, just west of the Cranberry Road overpass, at around 5 p.m. There, first responders say they found a commercial van missing its rear wheel. The tire and rim from the vehicle were reportedly found in the middle of the highway.
One SUV struck the tire and flipped several times, according to witness Brianna Saccary, 18, who said there were two people and a dog in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
The nursing student from Colborne was with her brother, sister and four-month-old nephew when their pickup truck also struck the tire. No one from that vehicle was injured.
“I didn’t see it come off but I saw it flying towards us, and it was pretty scary,” she said. “We just sort of flew off of it and landed.”
Saccary says she rushed to the aid of the occupants in the SUV, which was upside down in the middle of the highway. She says a man and woman were able to get out of the vehicle, but Saccary believes the dog was ejected. She says the dog was later found at a nearby embankment bleeding but “mostly scared.”
According to the nursing student, the man was bleeding and the woman was in shock.
Paramedics transported them to Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg with minor injuries, while their dog was taken to a veterinarian in Peterborough, police said.
One person in another vehicle that struck the tire was also taken to hospital with minor injuries, according to police.
“Not a lot of people can say they rolled their car and got out in one piece,” said Saccary. “Considering all of them got out with minor injuries and we got out with minor injuries, it is a Christmas miracle.”
Both lanes of the highway were closed as Ontario Provincial Police investigated.
While police were investigating, a transport truck backed into a stopped vehicle several times. No injuries were reported.
The investigations into both collisions are continuing.
Northumberland OPP are expected to release more details regarding the incident later on Tuesday.
More to come.