Highway 401 Crash In Ajax Closes Eastbound Lanes

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Several eastbound lanes of Highway 401 were closed for hours Saturday afternoon after a tractor-trailer collided with an SUV, slid off the highway and hung perilously over the roadway below.

The accident happened at about 1:30 p.m. on Highway 401 eastbound between Brock Road in Pickering and Westney Road in Ajax.

Photos of the scene show the tractor-trailer hanging off the edge of Highway 401 threatening to fall to the Church Street underpass below.

OPP say the driver suffered minor injuries including some burns, while the drivers of the other two vehicles escaped unharmed.

"The truck that you see behind us was the third vehicle. It mounted the barrier on this side and rode along the bridge barrier before coming to rest halfway across the bridge here," said Sgt. Jim Grimley, the emergency measures officer for Durham Regional Police.

Grimley added that the driver of the tractor-trailer was lucky to climb out of the wreckage when he did. It burst into flames moments later.

"It appears that he managed to get out of the cab on his own, albeit just in time," Grimley said.

Eastbound lanes of Highway 401 were closed as emergency crews fought the flames. Three eastbound 401 lanes were expected to remain closed for several hours, while two remained open to traffic in the late afternoon.

Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames by 3 p.m. but the truck was still hanging over the barricade.

Cranes were brought in to remove the charred wreckage.

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