Drug-impaired driving charge laid in Markham crash with transport truck
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, October 19, 2018 6:01AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 19, 2018 3:22PM EDT
A 23-year-old Markham man has been charged with drug-impaired driving after a high-speed crash involving a transport truck spilled diesel fuel onto Highway 7 early Friday morning.
York Regional Police say an SUV was travelling eastbound on Highway 7, near Commerce Valley Drive, at around 2:30 a.m. when it sideswiped a transport truck.
The SUV then struck a light pole before rolling over.
The impact of the crash caused the truck’s fuel tank to rupture, causing a small amount of diesel to leak onto the roadway.
The truck driver said he had just started moving through the intersection when he was hit.
“I started moving at the traffic light. I didn’t see from which side he came from, he just hit me from the side,” the driver, whose name was not provided, said.
“His car went maybe 300 metres sideways and then it flipped over.”
The driver of the SUV was initially taken to hospital with minor injuries, but was later taken into custody and charged.
The 23-year-old is facing charges of drug-impaired driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, driving while suspended, novice driver with no accompanying driver, and novice driver at an unlawful hour.
“The exact drug we’re still unsure,” Const. Andy Pattenden told CTV News Toronto.
“Our drug recognition expert is working through that, but we do suspect cannabis could have been involved in the cocktail, possible cocktail of drugs that the driver had consumed.”
This weekend marks the first in Canada where recreational marijuana is legalized.
Police across the province, including in York Region, are abiding by a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to impaired driving of any kind.
“We are concerned that the recent legalization of recreational cannabis will result in more incidents of impaired driving,” Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a news release Friday.
“Our citizens can expect to see our officers on patrol conducting R.I.D.E. spot checks throughout the region in an effort to stop anyone who has made the choice to drive while impaired.”
The roadway was closed for several hours as crews cleaned up from the diesel spill but reopened at around 7:30 a.m.