MTO, structural engineers assist in Sydenham collision aftermath

Much of the front door of a red brick home on Rutledge Road in Sydenham, South Frontenac Township, was destroyed in a collision involving a pickup truck towing another pickup truck on a vehicle dolly, which occurred on Saturday, Jul. 22, 2023. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

Editorial note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Monday, Jul. 24, 2023. Please see bottom of article for updated information.

The pickup truck towing another pickup truck, which collided with a house on Rutledge Road over the weekend, had already been the subject of complaints, according to police.

Prior to the collision, which occurred just before 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jul. 22, 2023, the Frontenac County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had received complaints regarding the Chevrolet S10 pickup towing a Ford F250 on a vehicle dolly. The complaints involved the truck being “all over the road,” the OPP said in response to Kingstonist inquiries on Monday, Jul. 24, 2023.

“As officers were responding, the driver lost control, smashing into the house,” Sgt. Jennifer Coles, Media Relations Officer for Frontenac OPP, said in an email to Kingstonist.

According to police, the cause of the collision remains under investigation at this time. Inspectors with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) will be assisting in inspecting the towing rig once it has been removed from the house it crashed into, however, another field of experts must attend the scene first, Coles explained.

The truck and towing rig could not be removed from the home immediately in a safe manner. Structural engineers were called in to inspect the situation today, Monday, Jul. 24, 2023, and the rig has been left in place until the engineers are satisfied the vehicles can be moved while keeping everyone involved safe, and doing the least amount of further damage to the house. This could involve the shoring-up of the structure and the use of emergency structural reinforcements/propping.

Once the trucks are removed, the MTO and OPP will partner to investigate the rig, inspecting the roadworthiness and fitness of the combination used in the towing process. Charges, if any are to be laid, are pending the inspection of the rig, Coles shared, noting there is no investigation into the sobriety of the driver.

“Everything that occurred relates to the mechanical fitness of the rig as a whole,” she said.

The estimated cost of damages to the picturesque red brick home is not yet known.

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and provide updated coverage as more information becomes available.

Update (Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2023):
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), structural engineers were on site on Tuesday, Jul. 25, 2023, at the home on Rutledge Road damaged in a collision over the past weekend.

The collision scene on Rutledge Road in Sydenham from a different angle. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

Engineers attended the home, which was damaged after a pickup truck towing another pickup truck lost control and crashed into the front of the red brick house in Sydenham, to carry out shoring work. This work aims to temporarily support the structural integrity of the building, allowing crews to remove the trucks from the collision site.

An attempt to remove the vehicles is expected to take place on Thursday, Jul. 27, 2023, the OPP said in response to Kingstonist inquiries. Following the successful removal of the vehicles, the OPP and representatives from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will carry out an inspection of the towing rig to gauge its roadworthiness and the fitness of the combination used to tow the second pickup truck. Whether charges will be laid in connection with the crash remains unknown at this time, pending the joint OPP and MTO investigation.

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and provide updated coverage as more information becomes available.

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