More than 100 vehicles involved in highway pileup



Kevin Lamb/CP


Wreckers wait in line yesterday to drop vehicles involved in a pileup on Highway 400 near Barrie. Provincial police shut down the highway south of Barrie in both directions yesterday following numerous collisions involving more than 100 vehicles.

Winter returned with brutal fury yesterday, turning Highway 400 north of Toronto into a wrecking yard filled with more than 100 vehicles in chain-reaction accidents caused by blinding, wind-whipped whiteouts.

Hundreds more cars were backed up along the highway north and south of Bradford by early afternoon when police closed lanes to tend to the injured and clear the carnage.

Police said most injuries were minor. A few patients were taken to area hospitals by air ambulances.

"It looks like a scrapyard," said Const. Dave Woodford of Ontario Provincial Police.

Snow squalls closed in just before 1 p.m. in the area north of Newmarket along the Highway 400 corridor.

Motorists told tales of being in sunshine one moment and enveloped in swirling snow the next.

"It was a real mess," Kevin Brotton told the Toronto Star as he, his wife and son watched their crumpled car towed into a service plaza off Highway 88. They were headed from their Orangeville home for an afternoon of snow tubing near Barrie.

Buses were brought in from Toronto and York Region to haul out shivering folks stuck in sub-zero temperatures made even colder by heavy winds.

damaged cars

  • A small army of tow trucks plied the highway, hooking up damaged cars in conditions that changed every few minutes. Some motorists left their cars to help the injured or just peered at long rows of stopped traffic.