One person hurt in 401 vehicle fire, crash west of London

A vehicle rests on its side after a crash on Highway 401 east of Wonderland Rd., September 24, 2020. Photo courtesy of Middlesex OPP.

A rollover crash near a vehicle fire on Highway 401 west of London sent one person to hospital.

Emergency crews were called to the eastbound lanes of the highway east of Wonderland Road just after 7 a.m. on Thursday after an SUV towing a small trailer burst into flames. The fire was the result of a mechanical issue, Middlesex OPP said.

A vehicle fire in the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 401 west of London, September 24, 2020. Photo courtesy of Middlesex OPP.

A vehicle fire in the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 401 west of London, September 24, 2020. Photo courtesy of Middlesex OPP.

As crews worked to douse the flames, another vehicle in the eastbound lanes, less than two kilometres away rear-ended a stopped tractor-trailer. The impact caused the driver to lose control and roll the vehicle onto its side.

One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries as a result of the crash. No one was hurt in the fire.

The eastbound lanes between Wonderland Road and Highway 402 were temporarily closed as crews worked to clear debris and tow the two vehicles away. It was reopened shortly before 9 a.m.

Police are once again reminding drivers to slow down and focus on driving when driving passed a crash site.

“A lot of people at these scenes are more concerned and worried about what is happening with the collision. Today we had multiple people who were passing us with their phones out, videoing as emergency crews were working to control the fire,” said Constable Kevin Howe. “That is just another form of distracted driving that leads to secondary collisions and puts first responders at risk.”

Howe called the behaviour “frustrating.”

“People just need to pay attention to what they are doing and be focused on driving the vehicle,” said Howe.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.