Car Crash Fatalities on the Rise on Ontario Highways
This year has been an alarming one for fatal crashes on Ontario's Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrolled roads and highways.
According to the OPP, 258 people have been killed on the roads patrolled by the force—a total that's slightly up from last year.
Back in August, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt urged motorcyclists and drivers to please exercise caution--and avoid high speeds and alcohol--after noticing a concerning uptick in fatal crashes involving motorcycles. At the time, Schmidt said that 30 riders had died in collisions in 2017.
A few days ago, Schmidt tweeted that there has now been 47 motorcycle fatalities this year—the worst total in over a decade.
And now, three transport truck drivers—including two from Peel—have been charged in connection with fatal crashes.
Recently, Schmidt announced that the OPP has laid 14 criminal charges in relation to three collisions involving commercial transport trucks that have claimed the lives of six people, including a 14-year-old boy.
"Between July 27 and Aug 3, the OPP investigated three fatal collisions," Schmidt said in a Twitter video. "In all three collisions, a transport truck slammed into the back of slowing or stopped traffic, claiming the lives of…four men, a woman and a child who were all passengers in vehicles that were stopped in queued traffic."
Schmidt added that several other people, including a 10-year-old boy, were seriously injured.
The OPP have charged 56-year-old Brampton man Baljinder Singh, 52-year-old Brampton man Manjit Parmar and 31-year-old Jatheesan Krishnamoorthy with a total of six counts of dangerous driving causing death, five counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and one count of dangerous driving and two counts of criminal negligence causing death.
"Commercial transport trucks weigh in excess of 60,000 kgs, which is 132,000 lbs. It's generating tremendous momentum and energy when traveling at highway speeds," said Schmidt. "In 2015 and 2016, the OPP responded to over 13,000 transport truck collisions, of which 155 people lost their lives. Already this year, more than 5,000 transport truck collisions have claimed 67 lives."
Schmidt went on to say that the OPP will hold all at-fault drivers "accountable to the fullest extent of the law," adding that commercial vehicle drivers are required to complete daily vehicle inspections to ensure problems and defects are spotted.
Overall, the OPP is pushing road safety and recently called out two Mississauga drivers caught operating their vehicles at extreme speeds.
Over the weekend, police charged two drivers for speeding dangerously (and, dare we say, ludicrously) on the 403 in Mississauga.
Earlier this week, Schmidt said that a 22-year-old G1 driver was clocked going 160 km an hour on the 403 in Mississauga. That driver's licence has been suspended and they have been charged with stunt driving and other offenses. Schmidt also announced that an 18-year-old G2 driver, who was operating an Audi S5, was clocked going a shocking 185 km per hour on the 403 in Mississauga.
That driver is also facing a license suspension and a stunt driving charge.
As far as the motorcycle fatalities go, Schmidt said that most riders were driving properly at the time of the fatal collisions.
All photos courtesy of the OPP