On Monday, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Chatham-Kent responded to three separate motor vehicle accidents in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401. One person was pronounced dead on the scene and two other people were hospitalized.
The accidents took place between 11 a.m. and four p.m. A tractor-trailer and two separate personal injury collisions shut down the eastbound lanes between Kent Bridge Road and Orford Road for several hours, causing significant traffic congestion in the area.
The first accident occurred around 11 a.m. when a tractor-trailer carrying salt caught fire. The driver attempted to put out the fire when the truck exploded. The man was taken to a local hospital with life-altering injuries.
Around 2:30 p.m., there was second collision west of the fire scene involving an SUV and two tractor-trailers. The driver of one of the tractor-trailers was killed, but the lone occupants of the SUV and the other tractor-trailer were left uninjured.
OPP then responded to a third accident, around 3:45 p.m., involving another tractor-trailer and a pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck was airlifted to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The tractor-trailer driver was not injured.
The eastbound lanes of the highway reopened just after midnight on Tuesday. At this time no other information has been released. OPP says the investigations into all three accidents are currently ongoing.
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