Multi-vehicle crashes lead to closures in weekend of traffic chaos on the 401
Westbound Highway 401 west of Bloomfield Road near Chatham was closed as Ontario Provincial Police investigated a five-vehicle collision late Sunday afternoon that resulted in two people being taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
A westbound tractor trailer collided with a westbound pickup truck near Dillon Road at about 5:40 p.m., causing a five-vehicle chain reaction collision, OPP said.
Ornge air ambulance units from London and Toronto were dispatched. Witnesses stuck in traffic reported a person being taken from the scene via air ambulance.
Chatham-Kent OPP, fire service and emergency medical service crews responded, and OPP traffic collision investigators were expected to be at the scene well into the night.
Motorists were advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes as Highway 401 between Bloomfield Road and Queens Line was closed.
Highway 401, parts of which are under reconstruction, was a mess over the weekend, with at least three crashes closing down sections of the highway east of Essex County.
Also on Sunday, eastbound lanes were closed near Merlin Road in Tilbury due to a five-vehicle accident — the second time in 48 hours that the stretch of the road was closed. Police described the injuries to those involved as minor. However, Highway 401’s eastbound lanes in that area were closed at County Road 42 for about three hours.
Eastbound Highway 401 was also closed for three hours at Merlin Road on Friday evening, with traffic bottlenecking into the night. A chain-reaction crash involved five tractor trailers. Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries.