A 38-year-old Brantford man faces careless driving charges after his tractor-trailer flipped, slid 80 metres and burst into flames on Highway 401 yesterday morning.
The accident happened along a curved portion of transfer lanes near Jane Street just before 5:30 a.m., closing all westbound lanes at Keele Street.
The driver, believed to have been wearing his seatbelt, clambered out of the truck moments before it caught fire, said OPP Sgt. Cam Woolley. He escaped with only minor injuries.
Rapid recovery teams moved in quickly after firefighters extinguished the blaze, pumping the truck’s load of 32,000 litres of food-grade liquid sugar into another tanker. There were fears that righting the truck for removal would cause the product to spill.
“If this was an empty truck, we’d (have been) out of here in an hour,” Woolley said. “But we don’t want the sugar getting in the sewer and hardening, or making a sticky mess on the road.”
The cleanup, lasting until about 1:30 p.m., created havoc for commuters. But “high-tech gawkers” added to the chaos, Woolley said, by slowing down their cars to snap photos with cellphones.