Two people were killed and three injured in a crash on Highway 401 near Drake Road, near Chatham Ont. on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The highway was closed to traffic between Bloomfield Road and Queen's Line. Chatham-Kent OPP are continuing to investigate.
Credits: TREVOR TERFLOTH/ QMI AGENCY
CHATHAM, ON -- Two people were killed and three others, including a two-year-old boy, are in hospital following a two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 401, just east of Drake Side Road in Chatham-Kent Monday evening.
OPP media relations officer Const. Troy Carlson, told QMI Agency an eastbound Toyota minivan with five people on board crossed the centre median and slammed into a transport truck heading in the opposite direction.
"The impact tore the rear wheels off the trailer," Carlson said.
The minivan rolled onto its side and came to rest in the grass median.
The tractor-trailer travelled another 200 metres with sparks flaring from the rear, igniting a small grass fire in the north ditch.
Investigators didn't know the identity of the victims -- a man and a woman -- late Monday.
A two-year-old boy and a man were taken by ambulance to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) and later transferred to London Health Sciences Centre.
The child was listed in critical condition and Carlson said the toddler had been properly restrained in a car seat.
The man's injuries were non-life threatening, but the officer said there was concern for a pre-existing health condition.
A female teenager was also taken by ambulance to CKHA for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
A 50-year-old truck driver from Alliston, ON, was not injured.
Carlson said a third vehicle swerved to miss the wheels, which came loose from the tractor-trailer.
The small car ended up on the north shoulder and no one in that vehicle was injured.
The crash happened just after 6 p.m. under sunny skies.
The OPP technical traffic collision investigation team was expected to work late into the night taking measurements and studying evidence at the scene.
The eastbound lanes between Queen's Line at Tilbury and Bloomfield Road at Chatham were closed for at least five hours. The westbound lanes were expected to re-open at about 3 a.m.
"The way the vehicle came to rest and the violence of the impact made it hard to immediately determine positions in the vehicle," Carlson said.