A 46-year-old Toronto man is dead after a freak chain of events that saw a construction vehicle knock a giant overhead road sign off its post atop the Toronto-bound lanes of the QEW between Burlington and Hamilton early on Tuesday morning, crushing a passing vehicle.

Sometime before 1 a.m. Tuesday, Ontario Provincial Police say an excavator was operating in a construction zone near live lanes of traffic of the QEW near Nikola Tesla Boulevard.

Its operator somehow struck the signs and heavy steel frames held above the roadway, sending them falling directly into the path of a passing SUV.

Its passenger compartment was completely crushed and its lone occupant was killed instantly.

All lanes of the Toronto-bound QEW remain completely shut from Nikola Tesla to well into Burlington.

Police are investigating what led to the excavator taking down the frame full of road signs overhead.

Crews reopened the roadway to traffic fully just after 11 a.m.