High winds cause transport truck rollover on Burlington Skyway
Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017 1:16PM EST Last Updated Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:47PM EST
The driver of a tractor trailer that rolled over as it encountered high winds on the Burlington Skyway on Wednesday afternoon said it was as if his truck was “like a wave on the ocean.”
High winds knocked over the transport truck on the Burlington Skyway over the noon hour Wednesday, closing the highway in both directions for several hours.
The Skyway completely reopened around 5:15 p.m.
The driver of the truck, who identified himself as James from Austin, Texas, said it was his first wreck in 35 years, a time in which he'd driven almost five million kilometres.
"One minute everything was fine and then everything was rolling over," he told CP24.
He said he felt the back wheels of trailer lose contact with the ground, and then the entire trailer and cab started to roll slowly like "a wave on the ocean."
At the time of the crash, James said the truck was returning to Rocky Mountain, North Carolina after delivering a load of medical supplies.
"There was nothing I could do but hold on, and then I hollered at my partner in the sleeper to grab ahold of something."
He said his employer was already arranging a new truck for him and his partner to drive as soon as the toppled rig was taken off of the road.
Speaking to CP24 Wednesday afternoon, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the truck was travelling in the Niagara-bound lanes of the highway when it was knocked on its side by strong winds.
“They (the wind gusts) are strong enough to take me off of my feet here and that’s pretty scary when you are at the top of the bridge so that is why we don’t want people up here on top of the bridge at all,” Schmidt said.
Only James and his partner were inside the transport truck at the time of the crash but Schmidt confirmed neither of them were seriously injured.
Burlington Hydro also noted that the windy weather was to blame for some isolated power outages across the city.
Earlier this morning, the wind prompted Environment Canada to issue a special weather statement for Toronto as well as the regions of Halton, Peel, York and Durham.
The national weather agency said southwesterly winds of 50 kilometres per hour with gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour were expected to arrive in the region early this afternoon.
“These winds may be strong enough to cause some minor tree and building damage. A few local power outages are also possible,” Environment Canada’s weather advisory read.
“Driving conditions may also be difficult at times due to the strong and gusty winds.”
Some wind-related damage was reported in the Toronto area. In Mimico, a massive tree in a church front yard crashed in front of the neighbourhood institution. No one was injured.
Earlier in the day, Toronto police Const. Victor Kwong told CP24 Wednesday morning that siding had been blown off an old, aluminum building in the area of Davenport Road and Dupont Street, briefly halting traffic.
Hydro One said more than 68,000 customers in rural Ontario were without power due to the wind storm.
Environment Canada ended its special weather statement for Toronto at 3:30 p.m. but kept it for the rest of the GTA.