Update 8:53 p.m. Wednesday: O.P.P. report the eastbound lanes of the highway have reopened.
LANCASTER – A section of eastbound Highway 401 at Lancaster will be closed until early this evening (Wednesday) after a two vehicle collision in the eastbound lanes.
Two people were rushed to hospital by paramedics – one in critical condition – after a crash between a Ford F-series heavy duty pickup truck and a Pontiac minivan. The minivan had Quebec licence plates while the plates on the truck were not visible from South Service Road.
The collision happened just after 1 p.m. on the stretch of freeway, across from South Service Road at 55th Avenue.
South Glengarry firefighters from the Lancaster station, as well as paramedics and police were on scene within minutes.
Fire Chief Dave Robertson tells Cornwall Newswatch there were only two men driving (both vehicles had no passengers). One is in critical condition while the other has minor injuries, he said.
“No extrications were performed. Both drivers were out of the vehicles when we arrived and were being assessed by bystanders.”
The minivan caught fire but bystanders were able to put out the flames before they arrived, the chief said.
“As a side note, you’d be amazed at how many nurses and medical staff and first responders travel the highway and are able to assist. It seems to be on so many of our serious accident calls there are bystanders assisting and doing an excellent job.”
The westbound side of Highway 401 may be restricted at times for the O.P.P. investigation but it is open. Robertson anticipates the eastbound side will be closed until 6 p.m. at the earliest.
Traffic built up past the Lancaster exit was being turned around by O.P.P. while other traffic was detoured to South Service Road.