Three separate crashes on the eastbound Hwy. 401 on Thursday morning left four people injured — including one seriously — and forced police to shut down the highway in both directions for several hours. Ontario Provincial Police said the first crash happened near the Winston Churchill Blvd. off-ramp in Mississauga and involved three transport trucks, an SUV and a sedan. It’s unclear when exactly the crash happened, but the OPP posted news about the collision on Twitter around 8:30 a.m. Video from the scene, posted by OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, showed two of the damaged transport trucks — one of which had its right side nearly caved in. An SUV and a sedan, both heavily damaged, sat on the left shoulder.

Debris from the crash littered the highway. Despite the heavy damage, Schmidt said three people were taken to hospital for “relatively minor” injuries. “No serious injuries, which is spectacular,” Schmidt said during the video. Police shut down all eastbound lanes for cleanup, but began reopening them several hours later. Around 10:30 a.m., the OPP said a second crash involving two transport trucks occurred just under the Hwy. 407 overpass on the eastbound 401 in Milton. Schmidt said slow traffic from the first crash likely contributed to it. The driver of one of the tractor-trailers was trapped in his rig during the crash. An ORNGE air ambulance landed on the westbound Hwy. 401 and flew the man to a trauma centre with “serious, possibly critical” injuries, Schmidt said. Schmidt said early on Thursday afternoon that police had heard of at least two new crashes in the area, at least one of which involved a transport truck hitting other vehicles between James Snow Pkwy. and Bronte Rd. He didn’t have any details on injuries in this crash. “These crashes all appear to be secondary,” Schmidt said.

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