Suspect faces questioning after marathon truck chase
A man is being questioned by investigators in Burlington, Ont., after a stolen flatbed truck led police on an epic chase down many of southern Ontario's busiest highways.
The chase began shortly after 8 a.m. when officers attempted to stop the trailer at a truck stop along the westbound lanes of Highway 403 near Mavis Road, near Mississauga.
The driver finally pulled the truck to the right hand side of the eastbound Queen Elizabeth Way after crossing the Burlington Skyway at about 1:20 p.m., with a caravan of more than 20 police vehicles in tow.
By that time, the chase had covered more than 500 kilometres, criss-crossing southern Ontario as far west as London and as far south as St. Catherines.
Police with guns drawn handcuffed the male suspect and took him to the OPP detachment in Burlington, where he is being held.
"We're lucky that nobody got hurt and he didn't run anybody down," said one witness.
The truck was equipped with a device that kept it from accelerating past 105 kph, and OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford told CP24 its fuel tank was still three-quarters full when the chase came to a stop.
As word of the pursuit spread, Woodford said he saw bystanders with cameras taking pictures from "quite a few overpasses" along the QEW.
Stephanie Smith said she ran to the scene of the arrest after hearing on the news that the chase had ended near her home.
"I just figured I could see them pulling him out of the truck," she said. "Curiosity killed the cat, you know?"
At one point early in the day, the tractor-trailer left the highway and police cruisers were forced to disengage their pursuit. The truck later returned to the highway and unmarked police vehicles began following the flatbed from a safe distance.
Woodford said OPP officers made the decision not to try to force the vehicle over because of the dangers involved. He said since the vehicle never travelled erratically or exceeded the speed limit, police decided it was safer to follow.
By the time the pursuit ended, more than 20 police vehicles were following the truck and the OPP helicopter was watching from above. OPP officials had been in contact with local police agencies in at least four areas during the extensive pursuit.
"I would say it was textbook. You don't practice these things all the time but we had all of our resources in place. Everybody was there and everything went down safely," Woodford told reporters. "When no one gets hurt in something like this, then I say it is successful."
Woodford added that the suspect could face numerous charges from each of the police jurisdictions that he drove through.
The tractor-trailer was first reported stolen from the Niagara Region overnight and originally had a load of wood material on its flatbed. Police in Niagara-on-the-Lake said they received a report that the driver who leases the flatbed woke up to find the vehicle missing from where he usually leaves it parked.
The truck's owner said he doesn't know the suspect, adding that "he's a good truck driver -- he did better than I expected."
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.
With reports from CTV's John Musselman and Austin Delaney