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Driver dies in QEW crash

"It looks like driver error," said Const. Betty Anne Martin of the OPP's Niagara Falls detachment. "Visibility was good, and it had nothing to do with road conditions."The accident occurred at about 4...


A BRAND NEW DAY AND ROSS: Day and Ross, celebrating 50 years on the road, has opened joint terminals in Saskatoon and Regina with Sameday Right-O-Way. The facilities began operations June 19.
A BRAND NEW DAY AND ROSS: Day and Ross, celebrating 50 years on the road, has opened joint terminals in Saskatoon and Regina with Sameday Right-O-Way. The facilities began operations June 19.

“It looks like driver error,” said Const. Betty Anne Martin of the OPP’s Niagara Falls detachment. “Visibility was good, and it had nothing to do with road conditions.”

The accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on the stretch of the Queen Elizabeth Way between the Bowen Road and Gilmore Road exits just outside Fort Erie, Ont. The truck operated by John Bateman, 59, of Kitchener, Ont., and owned by Millcreek Motorfreight of Cambridge, Ont., was traveling southbound in the right lane when it rear-ended a stationary tractor-trailer operated by Robert Tuttle of R and R Tuttle Transport of West Falls, N.Y.

The force of the impact caused Tuttle’s truck to rear-end the next truck in the line, operated by Troy Winter of Michigan and owned by RTS Transportation Systems, and dislodged Tuttle’s load of steel coils. Several coils rolled off into the left lane, forcing a mini-van with two occupants off the road.

The front of the Millcreek vehicle was crushed in the impact and was quickly consumed by flames. Dave Ashley of Welland, Ont., the driver of the truck idling in front of Winters’s truck, ran back and attempted to free Bateman, but was driven back by heat after the right gas tank exploded. It took the Fort Erie fire department almost an hour to extinguish the blaze, which reduced the Millcreek vehicle to a blackened heap of metal.

Bateman was pronounced dead at the scene. n


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