Truck driver faces impaired driving charges in Burlington Skyway collision
Rubab Abid, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014 4:42PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:54PM EDT
A 34-year-old truck driver from Brampton is facing impaired driving charges after his truck hit scaffolding in a construction zone on the Burlington Skyway Thursday afternoon, causing extensive damage and snarling traffic for hours.
Police closed down all Toronto-bound lanes of the QEW at the top of the Burlington Skyway at around 3:30 p.m. after a truck hit one of the beams of a scaffolding structure.
Reports from the scene indicate that a dump truck with its bucket in an elevated position struck the scaffolding, bringing parts of it down.
OPP spokesman Kerry Schmidt told CP24 that the driver suffered minor injuries and remains in police custody.
Police say three other vehicles, including a transport truck and two cars, were also damaged during the collision.
Traffic has since been cleared from the bridge and officials are working to remove damaged scaffolding and debris from the area.
“There’s quite a bit of debris around,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CP24 in a phone interview.
“Obviously traffic is hugely impacted because all lanes are currently closed,” Schmidt said.
The Ministry of Transport has dispatched engineers to the scene to assess the structural integrity of the bridge.
Ministry of Transportation Spokesperson Astrid Poei told CP24 that the bridge was undergoing construction as part of a multi-year rehabilitation program.
Poei said the MTO wants to ensure that the structural engineers are not "rushed" in their examination of the bridge.
"Safety is our top priority so we had to close the bridge just to be sure," Poei said.
"Anytime that there is something visually out of place, we would take swift action."
Police say all Toronto bound lanes of the Skyway will remain closed until engineers determine that the highway is safe to reopen.
In a tweet sent Thursday afternoon, Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said it could take several days before the bridge is reopened.
Toronto bound Skyway Bridge is closed down due to an accident and it could be closed for days as there is concern about damage to the bridge— Mayor Rick Goldring (@RickGoldring) July 31, 2014
Police are diverting traffic from the QEW at Red Hill Valley Parkway and are urging motorists to take an alternate route.
All Niagara-bound lanes of the skyway remain open but traffic remains slow.
With files from CP24
An aerial view of the Burlington Skyway after a truck struck scaffolding, shutting down all Toronto-bound traffic, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
A truck struck is shown after it struck scaffolding in a construction zone at the top of the Burlington Skyway, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (Courtesy: Michael Jilek)
A traffic camera image of the Burlington Skyway is shown after a truck struck scaffolding, shutting down all Toronto-bound traffic Thursday, July 31, 2014.