Why was a transport truck stopped on the westbound Highway 401 in a construction zone near the James Snow Parkway near Milton Ontario when it was rear-ended by a mini van resulting in major injuries to the two occupants of the the van?
The official news media provided their information about the collision which was from paramedics at the site as well as from “reports from the scene”. At no point was there any indication that investigating police provided any information to them.
A twitter post by Sgt Kelly Schmidt of the OPP provided photos of the two vehicles. The only comment made by Sgt Schmidt was that a “mini van drove into a construction zone and collided with a parked construction vehicle”. But there was no additional information. Below is a photo of the rear of the truck that was submitted by Sgt Schmidt.
A photo from local news media provided the additional photo below.
In the above photo one can see at the left of the view that the portable concrete barrier comes to an end. Were the units of the portable barrier being removed or loaded onto the trailer of this truck at the time of the crash? Is that why it was stopped near the end of the barrier? If the barrier is located to the right of the van then one would think that the travel lanes designated for public travel would be located to the left of the van. So one would think that the van was moving correctly in a travel lane designated from highway traffic. But why would a construction truck be “parked” in a travel lane?
The procedure of off-loading or loading such portable barriers from a lat bed trailer is shown in the photos below taken from a construction zone located on Highway 401 near Chatham, Ontario.
Note that the crane that is lifting the portable barrier units and the flat bed trailer are positioned safely behind the existing barrier. There is no opportunity for any traffic to strike these vehicles when they are safely behind the barrier. So how is it that the truck in the collision was not located behind the safety of the barrier? Or was it? It was reported that this collision occurred at approximately 0130 hours. In this darkness it might be very difficult to detect a stopped truck in such a construction zone as it would not be expected.Clearly there is some confusion here that needs clarification. Why is it that neither the police nor the official news media can not provide such basic information so that the public can understand how and why this collision occurred?
The proper procedures to be used to close the lane of a highway for construction purposes is well laid out in Book 7 Temporary Conditions of the Ontario Traffic Manual.
The use of a Sign Truck and a Crash Truck each equipped with TC-12 Flashing Arrow Signs, if positioned corrected would make it extremely difficult for a vehicle to maneuver around them in such a way as to strike a “parked” truck as described in Sgt Schmidt’s Twitter comment.