Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers across the region were responding to dozens of motor vehicle collisions and countless vehicles in the ditch on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 27. "Emergency crews are currently on route to the scene of a jackknifed tractor trailer on the westbound lanes of HWY 402 at Hickory Drive," reported Middlesex County OPP.
The Strathroy-based OPP detachment closed Richmond Street (Highway 4) from Arva to Exeter and was expecting numerous other roads to be closed. "Most areas are reporting zero visibility," Middlesex County OPP reported. "Police are appealing to the public to stay off all roadways!"
The Sebringville-based Perth County detachment, meanwhile, reported the closure of all roads in Perth County effective 9:20 a.m., with motorists asked to refrain from travelling until roads are re-opened and weather and road conditions improve.
"The Perth County OPP is currently inundated with calls for assistance from motorists involved in collisions and from those that are stranded due to white-out conditions." That included calls to assist numerous school buses that were making their way towards schools loaded with children.
Conditions did not deteriorate until after the time that most schoolchildren would have been picked up from their homes.
"At this time no serious injuries have been reported but police are still warning the public that they need to slow down and drive according to the ever changing road and weather conditions," Middlesex County OPP advised. "Today it is cold and blowing so this means the roads are slippery and snow covered. That means slow down and arrive safely at your destination."
Just over 12 hours earlier, Middlesex County OPP was advising of the closure of the intersection of Highway 4 and Elginfield Road (Highway 7) due to a collision.
At 5:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, response was required by OPP, the Lucan-Biddulph Fire Department, and Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services as a result of a two-vehicle collision at the intersection just south of Lucan.
Police have learned that a motor vehicle was travelling eastbound on Elginfield Road when it entered the intersection and collided with a minivan, travelling northbound on Richmond Street. The impact caused the minivan to leave the roadway, enter the eastbound ditch and roll. As a result of the collision, three people, including a child, were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police closed the intersection as members of the OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigation (TTCI) team assist the Middlesex OPP with the investigation.