This December, Ontario has seen a lot of wild winter weather. From being cold and snowy one day to rainy and hazy the next, we're back to dealing with a crazy wintery mess. Unfortunately, it's had a severe effect as there have been several reported Highway 401 crashes on December 11. At least one person has died.

According to CBC, the weather wreaked havoc on the westbound Highway 401, particularly a stretch between Napanee and Brockville in Ontario, throughout Wednesday.

One person has been pronounced dead at the time of writing as a result of the chaos.

A video submitted to Narcity shows a dramatic accident on the westbound side of the highway, caused by an earlier collision.

Melanie Ayotte was driving with her cousin Amanda Nolet, who recorded the video, in the passenger seat. Both women were stunned to see the aftermath of poor road conditions. 

In the footage, you can see the immensely long pile-up as the two drive by. A line of tractor-trailers and other vehicles had crashed into each other.

They believe they saw over 40 vehicles piled up as they made their way eastbound.

"There was even more after we videoed but they had a space in between so we thought that it stopped and we didn't continue because we didn't realize it was going on," Ayotte told Narcity over the phone.

"There was probably at least 3.5 kilometres of traffic build-up," Ayotte continued.

The CBC, meanwhile, spoke with Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson Bill Dickson. He said that one person was killed in the accident, which had started with a single impact before a chain reaction set in.

Photos from the scene shared on social media by the likes of the OPP and Brockville Fire further illustrate the chaos.

Cars can be seen stuck in ditches, off to the side of the road. Many have been bent and twisted almost beyond recognition, presumably by the impact of a collision.

According to CBC, the lanes were closed for three hours to clear the incident. However, they reopened around 3:30 p.m.

A tweet by OPP East division at just after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday confirmed that the cleanup on the 401 involved the "removal of 20-25 vehicles."

Today's chaos follows a dramatic although somewhat less deadly incident last week in which a sheet of ice flew off a vehicle and smashed a car's windshield on another Ontario highway.

This is just the latest installment of the fury the winter weather has brought upon the province's roads.

Earlier this month, over 500 car crashes were reported in one 24-hour period as an Ontario storm hit suddenly.

And further treacherous conditions are expected for the rest of this week, too.

The OPP has advised drivers to take caution while driving and to ensure they drive according to the weather.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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