ANNIE SILVESTER/Bullet News and RICHARD HUTTON/Niagara This Week
NIAGARA FALLS – The Fort Erie-bound QEW is shut down in Niagara Falls after a serious motor vehicle collision Wednesday morning, and will not reopen until at least 9 p.m.
Ontario Provincial Police are investigating the incident that saw a woman airlifted to hospital after the vehicle she was driving collided with a tractor trailer near the Lundy’s Lane QEW overpass in Niagara Falls.
The highway had to be closed down in the Fort Erie bound lanes to allow for investigation. Meanwhile, work is underway to clear the collision scene, including a large trailer that was being lifted from the highway up to a tow truck on Lundy’s Lane.
Niagara Regional Police also shut down a portion of Lundy’s Lane around the bridge, closing from the outlet malls to the Days Inn on the east side of the overpass.
Williamson said the trailer had gone into the up position, causing the collision.
The box came dislodged from the truck and the damage to the bridge is cosmetic. The woman was driving a minivan and hit the box. OPP Cst. Graham Williamson said she was sent to Greater Niagara General Hospital before being airlifted to a Toronto hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“There was no load which was fortunate, but again the box was completely extended in the up position and as it approached Lundy’s Lane it simply struck the bridge. The box became completely detached from the cab of the truck. The truck carried on for another 100 meters and pulled over.”
An employee from the Ramada Plaza Hotel, just metres away from the incident location, allegedly pulled the victim from the vehicle.
“One of our maintenance guys was out on a coffee break. He saw what happened and took off running. He jumped the fence,” said Brittany Bussi, Guest Services manager at Ramada Plaza Hotel. “He took his shirt off. I guess she was bleeding pretty bad.”
Bussi said the whole building shook after the collision.
“A guest said he couldn’t get under the overpass,” said Tanya DeJonge, front desk agent at the Ramada. “A guest called 911.”
The OPP are reporting a second accident on QEW southbound, near Thorold Stone Road, that has all southbound lanes closed as well as on-ramps from Thoroldstone Road. That incident reportedly involves a truck carrying hazardous materials which is causing problems for workers on the scene.
Williamson said the congestion from the first accident led to the second.
“As a result of the congestion on the southbound lanes of the QEW, at 10:53 a secondary occurred,” Williamson said. “The major vehicles were two transport trailor trucks.”
“What created the majot problem was that on the hooper truck it had an unknown load of a heavy metallic, dusty type of product. Initially we were told it was a lead oxide.”
Police later found out it was just rust.
“There is a diesel spill as well. Now the truck driver that went into the back end of the first truck …he suffered life threatening injuries and he was transported y air aumbulance to one of the hospitals in the area.
“As a result the traffic is blocked at Thorold Stone Road and that is going to be blocked until at least 6 or 7 tonight.”
The Niagara Regional Police Service indicated Kent Avenue at Industrial Drive is also closed in Niagara Falls as a result of the incident. Southbound traffic on QEW is backed up beyond Mountain Road. There is also traffic congestion in other areas as a result of this collision. Montrose Road, for example, is backed up as cars try to navigate around the area.
OPP is investigating both accidents.