Three dead, at least 15 injured in pileup on Highway 401 at Whitby, Ont.,

WHITBY, Ont. — Three people are dead and more than a dozen more have been injured in a multi-vehicle crash on a major highway east of Toronto.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says a man, a woman and a boy died in the pileup around 10:30 Friday night on Highway 401 at Whitby, Ont.

Schmidt says that five of the injured are in critical condition with life-threatening injuries and that another 11 or 12 suffered serious injuries.

He says a total of 15 vehicles, including four trailer trucks, were involved in the collision in the westbound lanes of the highway.

Schmidt says one of the big rigs plowed into vehicles that had slowed down in a construction zone, triggering a chain reaction wreck that left two vehicles wedged under a truck and several others torn apart.

He describes the scene as “unbelievable” with debris scattered everywhere and some vehicles no longer recognizable as cars.

Police, paramedics and several air ambulances were called in from neighbouring jurisdictions.

The highway, which is among Canada’s busiest, was closed in both directions at the accident site and police said it was unlikely to be reopened before mid-day Saturday at the earliest.


The Canadian Press