Truck operator charged with careless driving after fiery crash snarls traffic on Highway 401

Stretch of westbound express lanes in Toronto closed through morning rush hour

A transport truck operator was charged with careless driving Friday after a fiery crash that closed a stretch of westbound Highway 401 lanes in Toronto through the morning rush hour.

The driver collided with a guard rail near the Avenue Road exit around 12:30 a.m., according to Ontario Provincial Police.

The truck, which was loaded with cardboard, caught fire and blocked all of the westbound express lanes. Police closed the express lanes from Highway 404 to Avenue to allow firefighters to battle the blaze.

Toronto Fire said it took about 20 trucks to finally get the fire under control. 

The driver was able to get out of the cab and was uninjured, OPP said.

Police were able to reopen one of the express lanes around 2:30 a.m. However the extensive clean up effort meant the remaining lanes stayed closed to traffic until about 8:30 a.m., causing significant traffic delays in both directions, the OPP said.