Winter conditions have hit in southern Ontario for the first time in early November, and it has already claimed a life in tragic fashion. A tow truck driver in Scugog was struck and killed by an out-of-control car on Thursday, November 7 as he was attempting to rescue another car that had lost control in the icy Ontario weather.
On Highway 12 on Thursday morning, the truck driver was winching out a car that had gone off the slippery road and into a ditch when he was hit and killed by another vehicle.
A Periscope video taken by OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt at the scene shows the chaos. Both a red car and a silver car can be seen in the roadside ditch on the east side of the road.
In the video, Sgt. Schmidt describes the incident.
"A tow truck driver was here assisting a motorist — the driver of this red car — who lost control and went into the ditch," Sgt. Schmidt explains.
"While he was parked on the side of the road winching that vehicle out, another vehicle, that silver car ahead of us, lost control as well around 8 a.m., striking the tow operator and killing him."
He continues, "The silver car there is the vehicle that came in, lost control, and struck the tow truck driver. This red car went into the ditch about the same time this white BMW, that ended up on the west side, also went into the ditch."
Tow truck driver is dead after being struck while pulling a vehicle out of the ditch.#SlowDownMoveOver https://t.co/gEGUrU8uI7— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP Highway Safety Division)1573144456.0
Sgt. Schmidt subsequently confirmed on the morning of Friday, November 8, that the victim has been identified as 56-year-old Todd Burgess from Oshawa.
In the lead-up to the incident, a mixture of snow, rain, and ice had appeared overnight across large areas of the province.
As a result, it was predicted that the morning commute on Thursday 7 was going to be pretty difficult.
And, in this case, it led to tragedy.
Fatal Collision - Hwy 12 & Scugog Line 3, Port Perry Fatal collision involving a tow truck driver from Oshawa assis… https://t.co/ySN56KdRkN— Muskoka411 News (@Muskoka411 News)1573147563.0
Later in the Periscope video, Sgt. Schmidt points out how this particular stretch of Highway 12 curves and drops.
That presents a dangerous hazard for drivers, particularly in slushy conditions.
So, what does Sgt. Schmidt say can be done to prevent tragic incidents like this? "You always need to be driving within the conditions of the road," he warns in the footage.
"Sadly, now, one tow truck driver is never going home."