Brampton driver arrested after overhead Hwy 401 sign collapsed in Whitby

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Published January 6, 2023 at 5:08 pm

A Brampton man is charged after this sign was struck by a transport truck and collapsed. - via OPP

A driver from Brampton has been charged after a sign above Hwy 401 in Whitby collapsed when it was hit by a transport truck.

The OPP announced the collapse at 8:30 a.m. January 6. The sign once sat overhead near the Brock St. highway exit in Whitby above the westbound lanes.

All traffic on the westbound lanes was pulled off the highway at Thickson Rd. in Oshawa to detour around. At the time of the first announcement, A/Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the blockage “will take some time to remedy,” requiring heavy equipment and a crane to remove the signage.

He also confirmed the Whitby-based Highway Safety Division officers already believed the sign collapsed after a “collision of some sort.”

At roughly 10:30, Schmidt provided an update. He said police had found a witness who reported a truck “like a scrap hauler” had its box up as it drove into the sign.

Videos

“The box was up. It collided with this sign. The driver then stopped just up the road,” Schmidt said, “He got out of his vehicle, dropped the box and was last seen exiting at Brock St. in Whitby.”

“We know who you are. We’re coming for you right now,” Schmidt told the driver.

Work crews were on site shortly thereafter. By 11 a.m. the crane lifted the sign and the crew rotated it off the road to allow some lanes to be reopened. The blockage at Thickson Rd. was lifted shortly after.

Hours later, at around 2:45 p.m. Schmidt reappeared to announce the OPP had found the truck that allegedly hit the sign.  Schmidt’s video pans up to show a obvious impact site behind him on the top corner of the truck’s box. The top of the ladder is crushed and blue paint from the sign transferred over to the box.

Schmidt notes the truck is “dump style” capable of lifting up to empty the load. “The investigation is still ongoing but thanks to the witnesses that called in,” Schmidt said, “we are now speaking with the driver and the company to determine exactly what happened.”

Shortly after 4 p.m. Schmidt said the sign had been safely removed from the highway and all lanes had reopened. He also revealed that an unnamed Brampton man, 24, was charged with driving an overheight vehicle, careless driving and failure to remain.

 

 

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