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One dead after pileup involving dozens of vehicles in eastern Ontario

Much of southern Ontario was under a weather advisory and snowfall warning as a messy mix of rain, ice pellets, freezing rain and snow battered the region.

KINGSTON — One person has died following a pileup involving dozens of vehicles during a winter storm on Sunday that also left thousands without power across southern Ontario.

Between 30 and 40 passenger vehicles and big-rig trucks were involved in the pileup in Kingston, Ont., on Sunday afternoon, provincial police said. Fifteen to 20 people involved in the crash were taken to hospital, most injuries that were not considered life-threatening, a spokeswoman for Kingston General Hospital added.

Frontenac Paramedics said they treated 16 patients and transported them to hospital, three of them with life-threatening injuries.

Police said one person died at the scene of the crash. Investigators said they wouldn't be releasing their name until the family had been notified.

It was a rough day on Ontario highways, with provincial police reporting approximately 400 crashes in the Greater Toronto Area since the snow started falling on Sunday.

Another crash killed a 24-year-old woman in the Niagara region when her Jeep collided with a truck on Sunday, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.

"Who knows how many more crashes may have occurred in the day that were never reported." he said. "We've seen far too often vehicles spinning out because they're going too fast because they're over-correcting or panicking."

Much of southern Ontario was under a weather advisory and snowfall warning as a messy mix of rain, ice pellets, freezing rain, and snow battered the region.

High winds and ice buildup also led to power being knocked out for tens of thousands of people across the province. Hydro One said it had restored power to 65,000 customers by Sunday night, with 14,000 still in the dark at midnight. Roughly 6,000 Toronto Hydro customers were in the dark for a time, but the city utility said it was able to restore power to 5,600 of them remotely.

Multiple communities in southern Ontario also cancelled their Santa Claus parades due to safety concerns — including in Mississauga, Burlington, a small Hamilton community and a small Waterloo community.

Authorities in Burlington said the parade wouldn't be rescheduled because of the complicated logistics involved.

"Unfortunately, the parade cannot be rescheduled due to the massive amount of scheduling to co-ordinate 90 floats and road closures," city officials said on Twitter. 

"We encourage all residents to please avoid unnecessary travel today."

Environment Canada said the threat of freezing rain extended into the nighttime in the Niagara Region and Hamilton, while more snowfall is expected in Kingston and the Bruce Peninsula.

This report by The Canadian Press was originally published on Dec. 1, 2019.

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press


Victoria Williston

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