UPDATED: Driver to be charged with impaired driving in Burlington Skyway crash
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 7:30 PM - All Toronto-bound lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Highway near the Burlington Skyway Bridge are closed following a serious crash that occurred when a dump truck with its cargo in the "up" position ran into scaffolding in the construction area of the bridge.
ALL TORONTO BOUND LANES CLOSED ON QEW AT BURLINGTON SKYWAY pic.twitter.com/YV6yvWlvEO— name can't be blank (@satansux) July 31, 2014
The Burlington Skyway bridge will be closed for sometime according to police as crews begin a difficult clean up.
The grim news came as it was revealed the driver of the dump truck will be charged with impaired driving.
The driver's name has not been released but officials are saying he is a 34-year-old Brampton man and more charges could follow.
A closure could not come at a worse time as the busy long weekend rush approaches.
Motorists in shock
The truck was apparently seen driving up the bridge with an elevated liftbed while several motorists honked at the vehicle in an effort to warn the driver.
The crash was so powerful, it caused the ground to shake, according to CHCH News.
"The truck passed me and the box was up," witness Keith James told The Hamilton Spectator. "I thought, 'that doesn't look right.'"
Seconds later, the top of the truck got caught in the bridge's girders, sending four crashing to the ground.
Another truck was damaged by the falling girders.
"I couldn't believe what was happening in front of my eyes," James told reporters. One OPP official on the scene said the traffic situation was "a mess".
BEAT THE TRAFFIC WILL HELP YOU NAVIGATE AROUND THE SKYWAY: How will your long weekend drive be affected by this closure? Rely on Beat the Traffic for real-time traffic updates that matter to you. Visit www.beatthetraffic.com and download the app on iTunes or Google Play and get there sooner!
OPP confirmed that several motorist sustained minor injuries in the incident.
The accident occurred around 3:40 p.m. Thursday -- just ahead of the evening commute.
The 2.2 km long Skyway Bridge is a landmark in southern Ontario. It acts as an important transportation hub, providing tens of thousands of residents from the Hamilton and Niagara regions easy access to the Greater Toronto Area. With early indications being that the bridge will be closed for several days, and the long weekend approaching, Beat the Traffic can help you navigate the best routes to cut drive times and get you to your location.
All Toronto-bound lanes are currently closed, while Niagara lanes remain open.
An engineer is being called in to assess the safety of the bridge.
A little further east, three trucks collided on the westbound lands of the 403 and QEW merge in Oakville, Ontario at 2:40 p.m., causing additional delays.
Officials aren't sure when the wreckage from both accidents will be cleared, but Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring tweeted that the skyway could be closed for "days".
BURLINGTON SKYWAY BRIDGE CRASH: SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES
Toronto bound Skyway Bridge is closed down due to an accident and it could be closed for days as there is concern about damage to the bridge— Mayor Rick Goldring (@RickGoldring) July 31, 2014