Fatal crash closes QEW after freezing rain hits Niagara – StCatharinesStandard.ca

Fatal crash closes QEW after freezing rain hits Niagara - StCatharinesStandard.ca
Woman, 24, dead after crash on slippery QEW near St. Catharines: OPP
A 24-year-old St. Catharines woman is dead as a result of a three-vehicle collision on the QEW Sunday morning after freezing rain transformed roads into skating rinks.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the woman, whom he did not identify, was driving in the Fort Erie-bound lanes of the QEW near Jordan Road in Lincoln when it collided with a transport truck.

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Schmidt said the woman was ejected onto the highway during the \”significant\” collision, while debris was scattered across the pavement.

A messy mix of wintry weather started early Sunday morning, bringing with it several hours of freezing rain or ice pellets before transitioning to snow or freezing drizzle in the afternoon. Light snow is then expected to continue through Sunday night before tapering off Monday morning.

Major winter storm hits Hamilton and Niagara, part of QEW closed for fatal crash

\”A third vehicle also came into that scene and collided with the vehicles or the debris and travelled some distance up the road before coming to a stop,\” he said.

Schmidt said police have been in contact with the family of the deceased woman, and \”they obviously are dealing with absolute grief.\”

Police officers were still on scene investigating the crash early Sunday afternoon, more than four hours after the 8 a.m. collision, as debris was being cleared from the highway including spilled diesel fuel.

Strong wind gusts up to 70 km/h and local blowing snow reducing visibilities are also possible, said the national weather service. There is the potential that some areas could see total snowfall or ice pellet amounts of 5 to 10 cm by Monday morning.

Schmidt said the fatal crash was one of \”at least three dozen crashes happening all across the region,\” that occurred as a result of the weather conditions.

He said a police supervisor at the QEW crash site described the conditions as \”absolutely a skating rink in many areas.\”

\”It is slippery, it is icy. The salt is just starting to work in. It takes time,\” he said, urging people to avoid travelling.

Several millimeters of ice accretion are possible over these regions with some areas possibly receiving 5 to 10 cm of snow and ice pellets in addition to the freezing rain, warned Environment Canada.

In Niagara Falls, the QEW was also closed to traffic for a few hours when a jackknifed tractor trailer completely blocked an off ramp at Thorold Stone Road, before the wreckage was cleared.

A crash at Highway 406 and the Beaverdams Road off-ramp closed that highway to traffic Sunday morning.

Pearson Airport is advising travellers to check the status of their flights before heading to airports — as delays and cancellations are possible with the weather.

\”Its going to continue to be a messy day of driving throughout the GTA, through the overnight hours into tomorrow morning as well,\” Schmidt said.

"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous," said Environment Canada in its warning Sunday morning. "Slow down driving in slippery conditions. Watch for taillights ahead and maintain a safe following distance. Beware of branches or electrical wires that could break under the weight of ice."

Environment Canada issued a warning Sunday morning, advising residents that several millimetres of ice buildup was possible, as well as a few centimetres of ice pellets in some areas.

The freezing rain was expected to change to freezing drizzle or snow flurries Sunday afternoon, with strong wind gusts of up to 70 km/h.

The stormy weather and icy conditions continue to result in crashes on roadways and power outages across the region.  OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said there were dozens of crashes across the GTA, with many in the Burlington and Niagara region. 

The weather also played havoc with utility services affecting thousands of Alectra Utilities customers who were left without power in St. Catharines early Sunday afternoon.

GO Transit is also experiencing delays due to the weather conditions. A power outage at Aldershot GO has taken elevators out of service — GO Transit is asking that passengers who need elevators to board at Appleby GO. 

Utility crews and firefighters responded to numerous reports of downed hydro lines as a result of ice buildup.

The weather also led to the cancellation of services at numerous churches throughout Niagara, as well as other events planned for the day.

At around 8 a.m. this morning, the woman was driving an SUV when it collided with a transport truck. Schmidt said the woman was ejected onto the roadway and that there was debris all across the highway.

The two-vehicle crash occurred in the Fort Erie-bound lanes of the highway at Jordan Road at around 8 a.m.

In a video posted to Twitter earlier Sunday, Schmidt said that he was speaking to the road supervisor at the site of the crash, who said it was "absolutely a skating rink in many areas." 

A St. Catharines woman was ejected from her vehicle after colliding with a transport truck in the area, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt confirmed.

A major winter storm hit Hamilton, the Niagara region and much of southern Ontario on Sunday, pummeling it with hours of freezing rain and ice pellets for the majority of the day.  

The impact of the crash sent debris and diesel flying across the roadway and Schmidt said crews have been called in to clean up the highway.

Schmidt said it is unclear at this point which vehicle lost control but he noted that the collision occurred just as freezing rain was starting to fall in Niagara Region.

Strong winds gusting up to 70 km/h were also expected Sunday, along with several millimetres of ice build-up on tree branches and power lines, which could cause outages. 

I was just speaking to the road supervisor there. He says it is absolutely a skating rink in many areas. It is slippery, it is icy," he said in an update on social media on Sunday.

The Fort Erie-bound lanes of the highway are shut down at Jordan Road due to the deadly collision and the highway is expected to remain closed until around 3 p.m.