NEWS
06/27/2016 11:55 EDT | Updated 06/28/2017 01:12 EDT

Police investigating truck driver in fiery crash that killed four in Toronto

TORONTO — Ontario Provincial Police say a fiery multi-vehicle crash on a north Toronto highway that left four people dead was "absolutely preventable."

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says investigators are still trying to identify some of those  killed in the 11-vehicle collision Friday night on Highway 400 — but one is believed to be a four-year-old girl.

The crash occurred in the highway's southbound lanes shortly before 10 p.m. ET and involved three transport trucks along with several other vehicles and one of the trailers and two vehicles caught fire.

Schmidt says the highway surface had to be ground down because molten metal from the fire was protruding from the asphalt.

Schmidt adds that a rise in the road and construction on that section of the highway cause traffic to slow and require a driver's full attention.

He says the OPP is looking into the actions of the driver of one of the transport trucks involved in the crash.

Investigators are "focusing on the actions of ... one of the commercial vehicles to see whether or not the driver didn't stop or slow down in time as traffic was slowing down," Schmidt said Monday.

"I've never seen a collision, I think, of this magnitude and the fact that a fire consumed three of the vehicles — a trailer and then two more cars," he said.

"Sadly, we're having a very difficult time even identifying the deceased because of the fire," Schmidt said. "Absolutely tragic, absolutely preventable."

He also appealed to transport drivers to exercise care and remember that a fully-loaded tractor-trailer has a longer stopping distance.

"The absolute carnage that can come as a result is incredible and we saw that on Friday."