South Glengarry firefighter seriously injured on Highway 401

A fire truck from the Martintown fire station in South Glengarry. (Newswatch Group/File)

LANCASTER – A South Glengarry firefighter has been seriously hurt while responding to the scene of several crashes on Highway 401 this morning (Saturday).

Firefighters were responding to a crash around 8 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the highway between County Road 2 and Fraser Road.

Fire Chief Vic Leroux told Cornwall Newswatch one of their tanker trucks was responding to the crash in extremely slippery conditions when it rolled on the highway, near mile marker 814, west of Lancaster.

“One firefighter (on the truck) was seriously injured and he’s in stable condition right now in Ottawa. (It) appears that it’s all upper body (injuries) at this time,” Leroux told CNW.

The identity of the firefighter, who was the only person in the truck, has not been disclosed.

The Ministry of Labour has been notified, as well as the South Glengarry human resources department and the municipality’s insurance company.

“The road conditions were very poor,” Leroux said. “The snowfall was sudden and, of course, the temperatures were ideal for compaction of snow on the road and it basically turned into very slippery conditions.”

“Timing was terrible as far as the first motor vehicle accident and subsequently we had two other accidents on that highway … another one in the Bainsville area. There were three mishaps at the same time.”

Chief Leroux has spoken with the firefighter and his family and they are in good spirits.

“The family and the firefighter is in good spirits and I just wish them the very best … a speedy recovery. I did speak with him … he is coherent and his spirits are high.”

The section of Highway 401 westbound, west of Lancaster, was closed for a few hours but has since reopened.