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Provincial police confirm two people died in Hwy 144 crash near Onaping

Investigation is still preliminary, police not releasing names of driver and passenger who died

Provincial police have confirmed two people died in a crash on Highway 144 that closed the road for 12 hours on Oct. 7.

Preliminary investigation revealed that just before 5 p.m., a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was travelling northbound on Highway 144 and collided with a northbound pickup truck it was attempting to pass. 

The collision happened near the Marina Road intersection on Highway 144, a stretch of road that has been the focus of local residents’ ire for years. However, this collision was not the result of a poorly designed road, said OPP Const. Robert Lewis.

Lewis said the investigation is still in the very early stages, but it seems the SUV clipped the back of the pickup truck while trying to pass it. The SUV was forced into the oncoming traffic lane as a result, where it collided with a southbound dump truck.

The SUV became engulfed in flames, which was later extinguished by Greater Sudbury Fire Service, said provincial police.

Both the driver and passenger of the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the dump truck and pickup truck did not receive any injuries.

No charges are pending right now, said Lewis.

“It’s all still preliminary, and I don’t have much more details other than what the report says,” said Lewis. “As soon as that information becomes available, we will release it.”

The highway was closed in both directions for about 12 hours to conduct the investigation and to allow crews to clean up the debris.

The lineup of vehicles extended from the crash scene near Onaping to the other side of Dowling before provincial police turned vehicles around. Some vehicles took an hours-long detour through Naughton that came out near Windy Lake Provincial Park on Old Cartier Road.

The vehicle and the remains of the driver and passenger have been transported to the Centre of Forensic Science in Toronto for identification. There is no indication on when the names of the driver and passenger will be released, Lewis said.

The OPP's Technical Traffic Collision Investigators (TTCI) and the Office of the Chief Coroner- Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OCC-FPS) are assisting with this investigation.