Mar 07, 2009 01:01 PM
Thandiwe Vela Staff reportersAdrian Morrow
Three separate car crashes overnight left one man dead and sent six others to hospital while shutting down part of the Gardiner Expressway and Allen Rd.
The Gardiner reopened shortly before 1 p.m. The westbound Gardiner was closed between Dunn Ave. and Parkside Drive.
Sometime before 5 a.m., a 23-year-old man was driving northbound on Allen Rd. when he lost control of his vehicle. He drove across the dividing barrier into the southbound lanes, said Sgt. Tim Burrows of Toronto police traffic services.
The car then went off the roadway onto the west side of Allen, over an embankment and landed on Transit Rd. It continued across Transit, rolling through a ditch, up a hill and finally came to rest in a City of Toronto Works yard at the northwest corner, Burrows said.
Emergency crews were called to Allen and Transit roads just before 5 a.m., Toronto EMS said. The man was pronounced dead on scene.
Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what caused the fatal collision, but police say the driver's speed likely played a part.
"We know that speed is a factor, just by the distance the vehicle travelled," Burrows said.
No other vehicles appeared to be involved in the crash.
Accident reconstruction officers are at the scene, leaving Allen closed in both directions between Sheppard Ave. W. and Highway 401. Police expect it will re-open soon.
Meanwhile, on the Gardiner Expressway, a minor collision around 3 a.m. at South Kingsway snarled traffic. As vehicles slowed down because of the collision, an empty coach bus rammed into the back of a car, causing it to rear-end a pick-up truck, which in turn rear-ended another car.
Toronto firefighters were forced to use the Jaws of Life to free one man who was riding in the back of the first car that was hit. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The other two people in the car were also taken to hospital, along with three people in the other vehicles. None of their injuries are considered life-threatening.
Police are still investigating the collision to determine whether there was a mechanical failure on the bus, or if the driver didn't see the traffic slowing ahead to bypass the original collision.