Loading articles...

Hwy. 400 reopens near Barrie after pile-up involving over 70 vehicles

Last Updated Feb 25, 2019 at 5:58 pm EST

A stretch of Highway 400 between Highway 89 and Mapleview Drive near Barrie has reopened in both directions several hours after a pileup involving over 70 vehicles.

The crash occurred in the southbound lanes and involved several tractor trailers.

Despite the sheer number of collisions, only minor injuries have been reported.

Former Canadian Olympic boxer Mark Simmons was in the middle of the carnage.

“I was driving along the 400 and the conditions were really bad,” he said. “It was blowing snow and at times for two to three second periods you couldn’t see anything ahead of you.”

Simmons wisely adopted a defensive approach as the conditions worsened.

“I slowed down considerably, and went into the middle lane behind a tractor-trailer, and thought I’m just going to keep my distance behind it.

“Then all around me I start seeing cars sliding and spinning … and then in the fast lane a car is spinning and it comes to a stop and then I see a pickup truck hit that car at probably 80 km/h at least, and then hit it full on and I think almost the back of the car is (torn) off.”

“Then I could hear crashes going on behind me too, and I said I’m just going to stay in this car … It’s definitely scary when something like that happens right around you.”

 

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said there was almost zero visibility in the area due to blowing snow when the pileup occurred.

Barrie Transit buses were called in to shelter people involved in the crash.