Police had to close all westbound lanes of Hwy. 401 at Culloden Rd. after a number of pile-ups in the area.
Just before noon, officers say a three-vehicle collision sparked a chain reaction just past Culloden Rd., with a number of accidents trailing it as drivers tried to stop at the blocked section of highway. Westbound traffic was being directed off Hwy. 401 at Culloden Rd, across Hamilton Rd. and back onto the highway via Putnam Rd.
Officers estimate more than 50 vehicles were involved in three separate crashes between Culloden Rd. and Putnam Rd. The first crash involved about 19 vehicles, including transport trucks, cars, SUVs and one Greyhound passenger bus on the highway near the Pigram Line underpass. Police say a number of people were taken to hospital with unknown injuries. After the accident police called for help from every fire truck and ambulance available in the region.
Police say OPP officers were stationed at each intersection along the emergency detour route to direct traffic. Drivers were asked to stay a safe distance away from other cars and those officers.
Constable Lisa Narancsik says drivers are not heeding police warnings about adjusting driving for the winter weather.
The Hwy. 401 westbound opened up by 5:30pm. Crews had to remove most of the vehicles involved in the accidents, and wait for county crews to salt and plow the section of highway.