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Highway pile-up serves as a reminder

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

December 8, 2010 — A multi-vehicle pile-up shut down all westbound lanes of the 401 near Woodstock, Ontario Wednesday morning. Police officials are warning drivers to simply slow down.

Multi-vehicle pileup on the 401 west bound near Woodstock Wednesday
Multi-vehicle pileup on the 401 west bound near Woodstock Wednesday

Traffic came to a complete halt Wednesday morning, after a multi-vehicle pile-up was reported near Woodstock, Ontario.

“Around 10:30 am, members of the Oxford County OPP responded to the west bound lanes of the 401 near Sweaburg Road to a multi-vehicle crash,” says Sergeant Dave Rektor, with the Ontario Provincial Police.

17 vehicles were involved in the collision, and approximately 7 were tractor trailers. No fatalities were reported, but three people suffered minor injuries including a truck driver who had to be extricated from his vehicle. Snow squalls were rolling across the region at the time and may have contributed to slick roads and poor visibility.

Officials say road conditions over the past few days have been extremely dangerous and this multi-vehicle pile-up should serve as a reminder to adjust your habits in poor conditions.

Cars backed up for hours on Wednesday
Cars backed up for hours on Wednesday

“We've seen instances of drivers speeding by the scenes of collisions, motorists driving on closed roadways, motorists passing fully marked cruisers as they travel to people in need of assistance and transport trucks loaded with cargo driving at highway speeds during blinding storms,” says Inspector Mark Wright with the Western Region O.P.P. Wright adds that drivers need to become more aware during stormy conditions to avoid preventable collisions.

On Wednesday, officials pulled over one driver going 143 km/h and they've responded to more than 500 collisions since the snow began on Sunday.

“Conditions change throughout this region instantly. They can be sunny and clear one moment, and the next moment there could be very intense, blinding snow squalls, so in this part of Ontario you really have to use extreme caution when driving,” notes Rektor.

Be sure to check the highway conditions before you head out this winter.

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