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UPDATE: Fifty-car collision backs up 401

By William Proulx [5], Mark Hodgins [6], Kate Shumakova [7] and Bevan Hamilton [8]

BELLEVILLE – A 50-vehicle pile up on Highway 401 snarled traffic between Brighton and Quinte West since about midnight, OPP reported this morning.

Emergency crews and police continue to redirect traffic off the highway after officers from Quinte West and Napanee responded to a multi-car accident on Hwy. 401 between County Road 30 and Wooler Road around midnight.

Quinte West Fire Department, Hastings Quinte EMS and Northumberland County EMS also responded to the scene. Police say five people were transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the collision. Quinte West Fire Chief John Whelan said this morning, the worst injury was a broken arm.

Highway 401 westbound was forced to close between Wallbridge-Loyalist Road, and County Road 30 near Brighton for close to four hours. Then, police started redirecting traffic to Wooler Road.

Motorists involved in the collision have been waiting at the Ramada hotel in Trenton for the accident to be cleared since last night.

Const. David Ludington says that the cause of the accident in not yet known and is still under investigation. He says the accident should be cleared by late afternoon or early evening.

Ludington added that the public should follow the following routes.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/detour-routes-david-ludington-1107am-newsroom2.mp3 [9]

The  westbound lanes have since been re-opened. The 401 eastbound will remain closed until further notice.

John Whelan, Fire Chief of Quinte West was on scene and says the incident triggered a stage one emergency.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/john-whelan-on-trenton-state-of-emergency.mp3 [10]