Man dead after pileup involving 50 vehicles near Montreal
Published Wednesday, February 7, 2018 4:22PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 7, 2018 7:37PM EST
At least one person is dead and 15 others injured after a pileup involving dozens of vehicles on a snowy stretch of highway leading into Montreal brought traffic to a standstill.
The accident occurred around 1 p.m. Wednesday on the westbound lane of Highway 20, just outside Mont-St. Hilaire, the Surete du Quebec said.
Photos from the scene show transport trucks and vehicles jackknifed across the snow-caked road. An estimated 50 vehicles were involved in the pileup.
Blowing snow made visibility poor at the time of the accident.
Police said the victim was a man in his 70s. Officers used the jaws-of-life in hopes of freeing the man in time, but it was too late. His identity has not been released.
The injuries sustained by the 15 other victims were described as minor.
The road, a major commuter route leading into Montreal, was closed for nearly five hours. It reopened around 6 p.m.
Vincent Unterberg, a driver involved in the pileup, said he rushed from his vehicle to help a female driver after her car collided with a transport truck.
“She was in total shock. So I had to pick her up and put her in my car so she could call her dad and everyone to tell them she was safe and sound,” Unterberg told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
Unterberg added that he feels lucky to have come out of the crash unscathed.
“I slid for at least 10 to 12 seconds. But my first reaction was to pull off at the side of the road right away because everybody was going to be smashed into one another,” he said.
First responders on the scene brought buses to help warm up the motorists involved in the crash.
Snowy weather is also believed to be a factor in two accidents that shut down parts of Highway 10 and Highway 30. No major injuries were reported.
Blizzards also caused several flight delays and cancellations at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on Wednesday.
Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for much of Quebec, where 15 to 20 centimeters of snow is expected to fall. In the hardest-hit townships, up to 35 centimeters could fall.
The flurries are expected to clear up Wednesday night.
With a report from CTV Montreal