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Pileup on westbound Highway 401 causes closure in Napanee

Photo via Ange Benn.

A large collision involving over a dozen vehicles has caused a closure of Highway 401 westbound in Napanee.

The collision occurred at approximately 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 near Beechwood Road, just west of Highway 41.

According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), “officers reported that there were several tractor trailers involved, along with a dump truck and cars as a rapidly moving weather front brought heavy snow to the Napanee area.” Napanee Fire, along with Lennox and Addington County Paramedics established a triage command post and extricated a number of patients to hospital with undisclosed injuries.

A bus was sent to the scene to provide shelter for those involved at approximately 1:15 p.m. Upon arrival of the bus, any patients needing medical attention were transported from the highway. The Strathcona Paper Centre acted as a warming centre for the drivers and passengers were removed from the highway by bus and into Napanee.

All westbound lanes of Highway 401 were closed following the collision, causing backups on the highway. Traffic was detoured at Highway 41, and Highway 401 was closed for about four hours.

A view of the closed Highway 401 following the large collision on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Photo by Cris Vilela.

In addition to the large collision, there were many smaller collisions due to the whiteout conditions, which kept the OPP and rescue crews busy throughout the day.

“The OPP would like to thank the public for their patience as a backlog of traffic was cleared after a lane was opened up,” the OPP said in a press release at about 4 p.m. the same day.

“There are still vehicles in the ditches along highway 401 westbound near mile marker 570. These will be removed later today when weather and road conditions improve.”

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4 thoughts on “Pileup on westbound Highway 401 causes closure in Napanee

  • December 11, 2019 at 7:24 pm
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    What the he— is the matter with people. S L O W D O W N!!!!!!!!
    Drive for the road conditions and traffic volume. For god sake use the brains you should have between your ears. And if you can’t do that, STAY THE HE— HOME!!

  • December 12, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    I seriously believe we need a totally separate highway JUST FOR TRANSPORTS. I know how expensive this would be but in the end the death tole happening in crashes between personal vehicles and transport trucks on -especially the 401 – is becoming worse with every passing day. This is even without taking into account bad weather, unsafe driving conditions such as speeding and over crowding or inexperienced drivers and needs to be addressed now. A solution needs to be found and put into place quickly!

    With more and more people shopping online the transportation of goods is rapidly increasing causing more and more large trucks traveling on the highways to ensure speedy delivery .

    Accidents involving these large transports and personal sized cars and trucks are far more likely to result in the smaller vehicles occupants being killed. Setting up a separate roadway for the larger trucks has to reduce the number of fatalities caused when smaller vehicles are involved in collisions with them. I’m not saying transport drivers are the causes of the accidents but I am stating that ANY accidents involving vehicles of such immensely different sized motor vehicles has to result in deaths in the smaller of the two!

  • December 12, 2019 at 1:09 pm
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    It wasn’t a speeding factor. This was white out conditions, ice etc. I was on the 401 yesterday and I didn’t know if I was on the road or not. You couldn’t see anything, my wipers were icing up. I was able to get off safely at the next exit only 2 see 3 firetrucks getting on to the 401. Weather was the issue yesterday. No one passed me and I couldn’t see anyone in front of me. Speed was 20-35 kms

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