A rolled-over vehicle on Highway 401 sent its driver to hospital and caused traffic snares for hundreds of drivers on the busy thoroughfare on Saturday.

Witnesses say the man is lucky to be alive and has the actions of at least six good Samaritans to thank, including an off-duty firefighter who was on his way home from a vacation in Mexico.

Many lanes of the highway were closed after the elderly man's small Mazda flipped over in one of the lanes collecting the eastbound express to the collectors section of the highway. The roll-over took place between Warden Ave. and Kennedy Rd. shortly after 10 a.m., Ontario Provincial Police said.

"The gentleman lost control his vehicle struck the guardrail on the right hand side of the transfer lane and flipped over," Const. Walter Duff told CTV Toronto's John Musselman.

The man was trapped inside the car, eventually pulled out unconscious but breathing by rescuers on the scene. He was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital to treat trauma to his head. He is expected to recover and his injuries are not considered life threatening.

No one else was hurt.

The accident caused the closure of all transfer lanes and the two right lanes in the eastbound express. With only two remaining eastbound express lanes, volume was diverted to the collectors, which were also moving slowly throughout the day.

The highway was reopened around 1 p.m. to traffic that was backed up more than a kilometre.
With a report from CTV's John Musselman