Blast of winter weather blamed for dozens of crashes
Old man winter packed quite a punch Saturday morning.
Snow squalls and slippery conditions triggered several crashes throughout Southern Ontario, prompting police to shut down sections of two major highways.
“I wasn’t expecting it because The Weather [Network] said only like 30 per cent chance [of snowfall],” says Elizabeth Poynter. “So I thought ‘OK, I’ll chance it.’ Now I want to go home.”
Provincial police were forced to close the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 in two separate locations between London and Woodstock.
Near Ingersoll, a multi-vehicle crash had traffic re-routed for nearly two hours.
“It’s a bit of a mad rush and nail biting,” says Paul Marot. “I guess we don't plan on the winter these days. It just comes upon us and we don't take into consideration how severe it can be.”
Meanwhile, on Highway 400, south of Barrie, at least 40 vehicles were involved in a series of collisions.
The crashes, combined with treacherous conditions, forced police to shut down the northbound lanes at Highway 89 Saturday morning.
According to OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford, vehicles slammed into each other, careening into ditches and crashing into guard rails.
On Highway 89, 15 vehicles were involved in one pileup, notes Woodford.
The collisions occurred at around 9:30 a.m., amid a snow squall warning and freezing road conditions.
“I got sandwiched in between two cars and then pinged from behind,” says driver Richard Knock. “Everybody was kind of spinning around.”
Woodford says it's not believed that anyone was seriously injured in the collisions.
Police are reminding drivers to take care on snowy roads as southern Ontario gets a taste of winter weather.
Environment Canada is warning that snow squalls in much of southwestern Ontario and cottage country are to continue and possibly intensify Saturday night before tapering off Sunday.
With files from CTVLondon.ca and CTVToronto.ca.