OPP responds to ‘numerous’ crashes on Hwy. 401 in eastern Ontario as heavy snow hits area

Emergency crews responded to numerous calls for collisions and vehicles stuck in the ditch on Highway 401 on Saturday, as lake effect snow squalls created hazardous road conditions across eastern Ontario.

A snow squall warning remained in effect for an area stretching from Prescott and Brockville to Kingston, Napanee and Picton on Saturday night.

Environment Canada said the area could see another 10 to 20 cm of snow by early Sunday morning.

“An intense snow squall off Lake Ontario has now drifted north of the region. A cold front will push through the region tonight which will push the squall back south into the region. By early Sunday morning the snow squall is expected to shift south of the area as the front clears the region,” Environment Canada said in a statement.

On Saturday evening, Ontario Provincial Police in Leeds County said officers continued to respond to numerous calls for collisions and vehicles stuck in the ditch on Hwy. 401 in the Brockville and Prescott area.

Earlier in the day, the westbound lanes of Hwy. 401 were closed between Prescott and Maitland. Photos on social media from the OPP showed several passenger vehicles and transport trucks involved in the collision.

Ontario Provincial Police told CTV News Ottawa that between 12 a.m. and 2 p.m., police had responded to 19 collisions on Hwy. 401 and 23 crashes on other OPP-patrolled roads.

“We’ll go slow and easy,” said driver Michael Clayton about his drive from Kingston to Ottawa.

“I will not go any further than I have to if it gets worse and I’ve already told my group that’s what’s going to happen.”

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