Collisions cause traffic chaos Thursday

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

Patti Bellemore, Gananoque resident
“I live in Gananoque and I’m on the east end of Kingston so normally it takes about 15/20 minutes to get home and last night was about 2 and a half hours.”

Patti Bellemore was one of thousands stuck in traffic grid lock on Thursday.  A number of collisions caused backups throughout the city. The first happened at about 2:30 in the afternoon – involving 3 vehicles, one being an OPP cruiser.

Monica Hudon, Spokesperson, Special Investigations Unit
“The cruiser collided with another vehicle that was being driven by a 78 year old man. The officers cruiser was then struck by another vehicle. The 78 year old man was taken to Kingston General Hospital for treatment.”

According to the SIU the man suffered serious but non life threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, a 43 year old man, also received non life threatening injuries. OPP officer Sandra Barr, works out of the Leeds Detachment, and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Shannon Bradbury
“Then another accident happened in the eastbound lanes, but this time between Montreal Street and Highway 15. According to Frontenac Paramedics a woman was treated with an arm injury and taken to hospital. The two crashes snarled traffic on the 401 and many motorists got off the highway trying to avoid them.”

Patti Bellemore, Gananoque resident
“I headed into Kingston to get close to highway two because Kingston Mills is closed as well. I was stuck downtown for a good 40,45 minutes trying to get through that maze.”

Detours signs were posted – and police say that if more motorists had followed them north to Sunbury – they may have got home quicker.

Cst. Steve Koopman, Kingston Police
“We always wish those that are travelling the 401 would take those but as we know they either pretend they know a shorter route or are looking at what their GPS is telling them. Sometimes that brings them right through the heart of Kingston.”

The delays created a long and slow drive home for thousands. And, the havoc leaving some wishing there was another option.

Patti Bellemore, Gananoque resident                                                                                                               “I was thinking….we need that third crossing!”

But it will be years before that happens. A final preliminary design and business plan for the proposed bridge will be presented to city council in the spring and a decision will be made on whether to proceed with a detailed design for the project. Which means commuters may face more traffic tie-ups like these for a few more years.


Shannon Bradbury CKWS Newswatch Kingston.

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