Two Toronto-bound lanes on the Queen Elizabeth Way have reopened, nearly 10 hours after the highway was shut down for a fatal collision.
The multi-vehicle crash happened in the eastbound lanes of the highway near Trafalgar Road in Oakville at around 10:50 p.m.
Ontario Provincial Police say that one person was killed while seven others were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
All Toronto-bound lanes on the highway were closed overnight as crews worked to clean up debris at the scene. Two left lanes were then reopened at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
“We arrived on scene along with Oakville Fire and Halton EMS and discovered a commercial motor vehicle that was on fire pinned against the right barrier and multiple vehicles involved that had been struck by this commercial motor vehicle,” Const. Lauren Ball told CP24. “Upon putting the fire out and the initiation of the cleanup a vehicle was discovered between the tractor trailer and the barrier and a 34 year-old female from Niagara Falls was unfortunately found deceased within that vehicle.”
‘Like nothing I have ever seen before’
Video that was taken by a man who passed the crash site late Thursday night showed a massive fireball engulfing the transport truck as it leaned against a barrier separating the Toronto-bound lanes from the Niagara-bound lanes.
The man who took that video told CTV News Toronto on Friday that sheer intensity of the fire was ‘like nothing I have ever seen before.”
“It was really, really hot. You could really feel the heat coming from this enormous 18 wheeler that was on fire,” Derek Moreau said. “You see car crashes or whatever on the side of the road all the time but to see a fire like that was really scary.”
Ball said that there remains a “large debris field” at the crash site that will likely take an extended period of time to fully cleanup.
She said that the remaining two Toronto-bound lanes are expected to remain closed for several hours.
“Because of the fatality and the depth of the investigation involved we need to make sure that it is completed properly,” she said.