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A 33-year-old Nova Scotia man died and 16 others were hurt during a massive pileup on Highway 401 in Kingston on Sunday afternoon.
The westbound highway didn’t reopen until early Monday morning after the crash which the OPP estimated involved 30 to 40 vehicles which collided between the Montreal Street and Highway 15 exits.
Matthew Robert Jamieson died at the scene, Frontenac OPP said.
The westbound lanes reopened shortly after 4:30 a.m. Monday after the Ministry of Transportation checked the road and barriers were intact and the roads were cleared of snow, police said.
The crash happened at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday during a snowstorm that caused poor visibility and road conditions across the Kingston area.
Frontenac paramedics took 16 injured people to hospital, three of them with life-threatening injuries. They also treated one patient and released them at the scene.
Stranded motorists whose vehicles were trapped behind the pileup were transported off the highway on Kingston city buses, leaving their vehicles until the investigation at the collision scene was concluded, OPP Const. Curtis Dick told the Kingston Whig-Standard on Sunday shortly before 5:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be a long haul,” he said. “Kingston city transit is moving people to an activated emergency warming centre at Rideau Heights Community Centre.”
About 25 people were taken from their vehicles on the highway by bus to the Rideau Heights Community Centre, where those who didn’t have local accommodations were connected with places to stay, according to staff at the centre.
At 8:30 p.m., tow trucks were still removing damaged vehicles from the highway. They had already towed away the stranded vehicles of people trapped behind the accident scene, and the OPP was directing those travellers to where they could retrieve their vehicles on Monday.
Technical collision investigators with the OPP were still working on the scene at 8:45 p.m. and the cause of the crash remains under investigation, the OPP said.
With files from the Kingston Whig-Standard
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