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Tractor-trailer crashes, leaks fuel into ditch at Brighton 401 exit as winter weather hits region

A blast of winter weather has cancelled all local school buses and has forced Environment Canada to issue a weather advisory for the region. Photo by Matthew Murray, QNet News

By Matthew Murray [1]

BELLEVILLE – A tractor-trailer remains in a ditch on the side of Exit 509 of Highway 401 in Brighton after it slid off the road and began leaking diesel fuel.

The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the tractor-trailer skidded off the road while exiting the 401 on the eastbound off-ramp, Const. Steve Bates of the Northumberland OPP told QNet News. Diesel fuel then started leaking from the tractor-trailer and into the ditch.

Despite the accident, the off-ramp remained open while police dealt with the situation, he added. The truck’s driver escaped unharmed and the tractor-trailer won’t be pulled from the ditch until the weather and road conditions improve. The fuel leak was contained and will be taken care of by the Brighton Fire Department, he said.

It’s the second accident in as many days at the exit. Westbound lanes of the 401 were reopened at about 7:30 p.m. Monday after being closed for several hours due when a passenger was thrown from a tractor-trailer as it jack-knifed. The passenger was taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition. Bates said Tuesday he had no more info on the condition of the passenger or the truck’s driver. All westbound 401 lanes were closed from around 2 to 7:30 p.m.  to keep investigators safe as they looked into the incident. Bates said Monday afternoon that weather might have played a role in the crash.

In a separate crash that took place Tuesday morning, the OPP reported a two-vehicle collisionat the intersection of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Old Highway 2.

All school buses throughout this region were cancelled Tuesday as Belleville, Quinte West and Northumberland County are all under weather advisories.

Tri-Board Transportation Services [4] announced on its website that all buses were cancelled but that local schools are still open for students. 

Environment Canada put out a special weather statement [5] for the area on Tuesday morning, warning of heavy snowfall and poor driving conditions for Tuesday afternoon and evening. Between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow are expected to fall, with a possibility of freezing rain later Tuesday night, the statement said. Winds are expected to gust between 70 and 90 kilometres per hour at times.