Trucker Dies in 30 Vehicle Pileup That Caused Highly Toxic Chemical Spill

A truck driver was killed and 33 people were injured by a 30 vehicle pileup crash on Highway 401 in Ontario yesterday, prompting a hazmat and mass casualty response.

The crash began in the icy eastbound lanes of Highway 401 near Kingston just before 2 p.m. In that initial crash, five tractor trailers and one car collided.

A second crash took place soon after this in the westbound lanes of Highway 401. In this crash, seven semis and three passenger vehicles collided.

Trucker Matthew Morris described the chaotic crash: “I could see in my rearview mirror, the transport (trucks) piling up and jackknifing and crashing into each other.”

As winter weather reduced visibility and made it difficult to stop, more vehicles became part of the chain reaction crashes.

One of the crashed semis started leaking the highly corrosive chemical fluorosilicic acid.

The driver of the truck leaking chemicals was transported to the hospital along with 33 other people. The truck driver later died in the hospital, though it isn’t immediately clear if he succumbed to injuries from the crash or if he perished after exposure to the chemical he was hauling.

Seventeen of the 34 people who were taken to the hospital were first responders, including those who worked to get the chemical truck driver out of his rig.

Highway 401 was shut down in both directions and remains closed. The area has been evacuated and many of the vehicles involved remain on the scene.

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