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Icy conditions, jackknifed transport trucks cause commuter chaos on Friday

OPP/Sgt Kerry Schmidt

If you were driving on Highway 401 through Cambridge on Friday, you probably didn’t have a good time.

The quick switch from heavy rain to blowing snow made for some hazardous road conditions, and police had their hands full dealing with numerous crashes and closures.

Regional Police responded to over two dozen crashes at the height of the snowfall, and there were two major closures in the westbound Highway 401 lanes.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says the first occurred around 4 p.m. in Cambridge.

“We have a full closure of the westbound 401 lanes at Shantz Hill due to a transport truck jackknife collision involving another vehicle, minor injuries sustained. We have a diesel spill there as well, that just came in within the last few minutes.”

Traffic was at a standstill for hours until westbound lanes reopened around 7 p.m. – but relief didn’t last long, as another jackknifed tractor trailer shut down westbound 401 lanes just after Highway 6 north.

That closure was cleared around midnight, but roadways remain slick and icy this morning.

OPP were called to almost 40 crashes through the GTA late Friday – including one with a propane tank in the eastbound 401 lanes approaching Hespeler Road, and another on Highway 7/8 at Nafziger Road.

Police are urging motorists to slow down, use caution, and drive according to weather and road conditions.