A terrible car accident caused a major shutdown on Highway 401 at 7:30 AM this morning. It was a single car collision, and the woman driving was the only one who got hurt. She was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and remains in critical condition.
Police Sargeant Kerry Schmidt described the situation as "very critical." It happened just after Dufferin Street near Yorkdale Mall on the eastbound collectors side of the highway.
According to police, the woman veered out of her lane and into a construction site just off the highway. She swerved into construction machine, smashing the front end of her car into an excavator. Thankfully, the machine was parked and no driver was inside.
Investigators haven't yet revealed whether the collision was caused by distracted driving, driving under the influence, or if a near-accident with another car caused her to abruptly swerve out of the way.
It isn't clear if any construction workers were on site at the time, but no other injuries have yet been reported. Schmidt says that the investigation is ongoing.
“For some reason this vehicle got into the construction area and went into the back of a parked excavator that was sitting in the construction zone,” Schmidt told the media this morning, "Not sure what the circumstances were that led to that. That is going to be all part of this ongoing investigation as we work to find answers.”
All of the eastbound collector lanes between Avenue Road and Dufferin Street were immediately shut down. They remained closed for several hours as investigators and emergency crews were on the scene. Police said that the highway was "jammed solid" and backed up all the way to Dixie Road in Etobicoke. Thankfully, all lanes have since reopened.