Was MTO Negligent in Responding to Black Ice in 401 FATAL CRASH ? UPDATED #OPP #MTO

Was MTO Negligent in Responding to Black Ice in  401 FATAL CRASH ? UPDATED  #OPP #MTO


(South Stormont) – Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry (SD&G) Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers are presently (February 3, 2015) at the scene of a two (2) vehicle collision which occurred at approximately 6:00am on Highway 401, South Stormont Township. A tractor-trailer unit and a passenger vehicle collided resulting in two (2) adult male occupants in the passenger vehicle receiving fatal injuries. The adult male driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A section of Highway 401 eastbound lanes are closed to traffic between McConnell Avenue and Boundary Road. An Emergency Detour Route (EDR) is in place.

SD&G OPP officers are also tending to several other collisions on Highway 401 due to adverse road conditions. Please drive cautiously!

This was the report from the OPP this morning, but earlier CFN has received calls stating that reports to the OPP about black ice resulted in dispatchers complaining that the MTO would not change their schedules and respond to the conditions.

The OPP & MTO have not responded to our official queries as of press time.

Several other vehicles were reported ditched along the 401 this morning.


Sgt Kristine Rae of the OPP referred any comment to the MTO who responded with the following statement.

We can confirm that our contractor’s equipment has been deployed in this area since approximately 3:45 a.m. on February 2, 2015 and operations have been ongoing. We are currently reviewing our contractor’s reports to ensure that they have met contract requirements and were spreading the appropriate materials on the highway during last night’s cold temperatures of -22C.


However, despite our contractor’s work and depending on weather conditions motorists may experience snow accumulation and/or slippery sections on the highway. All of our portable variable message signs on Highway 401 from Kingston to the Quebec Border were advising motorists of possible slippery sections with the following messaging: “SLIPPERY ROADS POSSIBLE/ SLOW DOWN DRIVE WITH CAUTION”.

We encourage drivers to prepare for winter conditions by checking weather forecasts and checking road conditions at  www.ontario.ca/511 or alternatively dial 511.

Driving in winter in Ontario can be challenging. All drivers should be in the know, be prepared and be safe.  When you’re on the road, adjust your driving to weather and road conditions. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road, so keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles. Be aware of snow plows and give them the room they need to clear the road.

Brandy Duhaime

Regional Communications Coordinator

The OPP just issued an update as well including the names of those that lost their life this morning in the collision outside of Cornwall.


(South Stormont) – Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry (SD&G) Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers continue their investigation of a two (2) vehicle collision which occurred at approximately 6:00am on Highway 401, eastbound lanes, South Stormont Township.

A tractor-trailer unit, driven by a 47-year-old male from Brampton, Ontario was eastbound on Highway 401 when it collided with a passenger vehicle, driven by Robert SPRINGER (54) of Cornwall, Ontario. He and passenger Daniel FIGURA (22) of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A section of Highway 401 eastbound lanes were initially closed to traffic between McConnell Avenue and Boundary Road and it is estimated they will be re-opened at approximately 12:30pm.

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Hugger1Glenn BecksteadFurtzDavid Oldhamadmin Recent comment authors

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David Oldham

Weather is not a cause of accidents it is only a factor, Driver error is the cause, weather is the excuse. MTO is not responsible for accidents it rather should be credited for the prevention of more accidents than otherwise would be the case.

Thank you MTO for the efforts to keep the roads safe. Safety ultimately lies in the hands of drivers.

Unfortunate that commonsense cannot be legislated!


David Oldham you are wrong in fact black ice is caused by falling temperatures and the lack of road maintenance which also includes winter driving conditions is the job of MTO to keep up with or close the damn road down. So in effect yes MTO is responsible and can be sued if road condition is verified so advise people to take pictures of accident scenes (MODERATED) Please follow our comment policy. Comment policy reminder CFN has a new comment policy. You must use your real first and last name. As well if your email bounces we will terminate your… Read more »


Road salt loses its effectiveness when the ambient temperature gets down to -15C. Not sure how the MTO or anyone can alter that fact. Should all highways be closed when it gets that cold?

Geoff Stephenson

I can tell you that immediately upon getting onto the 417 from the 138 this morning, I encountered my first of 7 multiple car accidents/mishaps from there to exit 104 (Anderson road). Whatever the cause of black ice, it still surprised me to see a few jet pilots flying by me even after the second multiple incident. I encountered a few of those “pilots” further down the road. I was driving an all wheel drive vehicle with 4 excellent condition (MOT describes this as a tire with more than 7/32 tread) & I still slowed down to make sure I… Read more »

Mark M
Mark M

Prior to this unfortunate accident at 4:45 my wife hot a patch of black ice and lost Control of her vehicle in which the car flipped on its roof and into the median. Later my wife was fined 490$ for unsafe driving. If the the MTO could have stop and Lloyd of these incidents knowing that these accidents could have happened. Now I’m put a brand new car and have to pay a fine. They are just as responsible. I can be given a ticket for not wearing my seat belt as a form of neglegence… if they were not… Read more »


Each time the roads are bad, like yesterday i just can believe the amount of people who drive so fast like its summer. Also to you reckless drivers, watch out for people snowblowing the driveways. I was actually brushed on the arm with a mirror by some jackass while turning at the end of my driveway. And yes i do watch out for them too. This guy came out of seemingly nowhere at what seemed like 80km/h.

David Oldham

Allanna if drivers drove defensively observing the rules of the road and drove appropriately for the road conditions how could you justify MTO being responsible for anything other than doing the best job that they can?


You are absolutely correct David. There’s no way that road crews can keep our highways clear and “safe” in all weather conditions. As I said in another thread, winter sucks.

Glenn Beckstead

Drivers in Ont. forget that MTO to not maintain roads,this was privitized in 1999 by Mike Harris.MTO observe the maintainance of road condition as per the rules and guide lines they set. Contractors are in it for the money only, not a service provider. The new contract from the liberal MTO, has cut winter equipment by 1/2, which started May l 2013. Example from last winter, ramps on 401 were to be plowed once every 3 hours.Having worked on 401 for 34 years,speed has a direct impact, but we have always had these conditions in cold weather.Old rules were that… Read more »


Winter tires should be mandatory in Ontario.