Two of the victims of last week’s horrific Highway 400 crash have been identified.
Provincial police have confirmed the driver of the tanker as Benjamin Dunn of North Bay, as reported in the Barrie Examiner on Nov. 3.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said police believe Dunn was driving the fuel truck involved in the collision.
“We’ve been in touch with his family since the day we suspected that it was indeed him in that vehicle, as did the family,” Schmidt said via Periscope, a social-media app.
“We now know his vehicle was involved in a massive collision with 13 other vehicles causing a fiery explosion and death of three people,” he said.
The fatal crash occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on Halloween after northbound traffic near Simcoe County Road 88 slowed behind a three-car collision one kilometer north.
But as drivers waited for the first accident to be cleared, one of the two fuel tankers collided with the queue of traffic.
The two tankers began leaking gas and explosions rocked the highway as the trucks, nearby cars and trees burst into flame.
Dunn’s wife, Nikiyah Mulak-Dunn has said her husband was a veteran truck driver who worked three jobs to provide for their nine children.
It took eight fire departments and more than a dozen paramedics working together to get the fire under control and injured people off the highway.
Highway 400 was closed until Thursday morning.
Schmidt said through the efforts of the coroner’s office, two of the three people who died in the crash have been identified.
“Fire is all-consuming and it certainly makes our work and the coroner’s work that much more difficult,” he said.
The deceased driver of the mini-van was identified Tuesday afternoon as Michael John Landry, 41 of Oshawa.
The third body has not yet been identified and may take a little longer due to the meticulous efforts required to do so, Schmidt said.
“The investigation into who caused this collision, what caused the collision are still ongoing,” he added.
Schmidt said police have spoken to many witnesses and are reaching out to other drivers who may not have spoken to police about what transpired on Oct. 31.
“There were so many people at that scene, essentially running for their lives as a sheet and a wall of fire came rolling towards them as the fuel was pouring out of those trailers.
“We need to hear from those people,” he said.
Schmidt said the investigation continues and there has been no update about charges or any findings of fault at this time.