A commuter nightmare snarled traffic on Wednesday after the back end of a tractor-trailer fell off the southbound Highway 427 ramp, plunging onto the lanes of the eastbound QEW and Gardiner Expressway below.

Three vehicles were struck by the falling truck and its load of copper pipes at about 6:30 a.m.

Police say a 53-year-old Oakville man died after being taken to hospital by air ambulance. Four others were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The man's 18-year-old daughter was in the car with him and police say she was one of the people taken to hospital.

Clean up crews spent nearly 12 hours trying to remove large pieces of the tractor trailer from the highway along with the spoiled pipes, which are scattered across much of the roadway.