Reopening of Westbound Lanes on Highway 401 in Pickering Following Fatal Crash and Explosion
The westbound lanes of Highway 401 reopened this morning after the police concluded the on-scene investigation of Tuesday’s tragic crash and subsequent explosion. Commuters can now traverse the westbound side of the highway at Westney Road. However, the eastbound lanes remain closed at present.
The devastating incident occurred late Tuesday night when a tanker truck crashed and erupted into a massive fireball near Brock Road, prompting authorities to issue warnings of a prolonged closure. According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, the preliminary findings suggest that the tanker truck, traveling in the eastbound lanes, lost control for reasons yet to be determined. The driver collided with the central concrete wall and rolled into the westbound lanes, causing the tank to rupture and unleashing 54,000 liters of highly flammable liquid onto the highway.
The flammable substance sprayed across the roadway, leading to fires that engulfed the tanker truck, another transport truck, and a passenger vehicle in the westbound lanes. Tragically, both transport truck drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Fortunately, the occupants of the passenger vehicle managed to escape the collision with only minor injuries.