With no explanation the OPP posted some additional photos with respect to a dated fatal impact on the QEW that occurred last October 30, 2020. While this may not appear to be significant, the additional photos reveal something that was not revealed in the original news media accounts.
Originally, news media reported on October 30, 2020 that a school bus had been involved in a multi-vehicle fatal collision on the QEW near Ford Drive in Oakville. The focus of the attention was on the school bus in which no one was injured. Almost as an aside, the news media then reported that someone was killed in another vehicle, but minimal details were provided. A photo was attached showing a distant view of the school bus. Then another photo was shown with a dump truck and blue tarp placed over something in front of the truck. The news article mentioned that a vehicle had been “pinned under a gravel hauler” but no additional information was provided with respect to what kind of collision was involved or if someone died in the “pinned” vehicle.
Then on April 23, 2021, for no apparent reason, the OPP Twitter account re-displayed its reports of the incident from October 30, 2020. These reports indicated the following:
Update: Two separate collisions involved in this incident. The first crash involved a school bus, pick-up truck and a van that resulted in minor injuries. The school bus driver was charged with Careless Driving. The 2nd collision occurred seconds later involving a dump truck, transport truck and car. 29 year old Melissa PRIMOK from Toronto was killed in the crash. The driver of the dump truck Ronald RICKERT, 62 from Caledon is charged with: Crim Neg cause death and additional CMV charges.
This description was accompanied by three photos that were not previously submitted. These photos are shown below.
What these photos show is that a passenger car has been literally crushed between two heavy trucks. The extent of the crush is one of the worst ever recorded in over 40 years of our evaluation of thousands of collisions. It is also revealing that the dump truck that impacted the car was hauling a pup trailer. This is important information that was never revealed in the original descriptions of the incident to the public. No emphasis was provided by either the news media nor the investigating police that would educate the public about the dangers of such collisions where traffic is coming to a stop on an expressway. Regrettably, the young woman who was killed is just another statistic amongst numerous ones who have since followed. The cause of the collision was indicated in the original reporting as “unknown”. And since that time no further update was provided to inform the public.
This is the kind of process that does nothing to improve the public’s safety. Information that could, and should, have been used to inform and educate the public has been kept in hiding for no reasonable purpose except for secrecy itself. Yet this lack of education will lead to future tragedies for no useful purpose.
What were the factors that led to the extreme result in specific instance? We want to blame the driver of the dump truck but do we know? Why was this impact so severe? How much would new technology such as Automatic Emergency Braking help to prevent such tragedies? If the public was properly informed about these issues would momentum be developed that would increase the likelihood of changes being implemented? Sadly these are squandered opportunities that will revisit some future families.