Major 150-Car Accident On Quebec Autoroute 40 Could Have Been Avoided If Officials Had Listened To Recommendations About Highway Safety

Coroner warned of dangerous road conditions over ten years ago.
Major 150-Car Accident On Quebec Autoroute 40 Could Have Been Avoided If Officials Had Listened To Recommendations About Highway Safety

Two large-scale accidents happened back to back yesterday around 11 a.m on the autoroute 40 ouest and autoroute 640. In total, almost 150 cars were involved in the crashes.

READ ALSO: Video Showing The Massive 150 Car Pile-Up On Quebec's Highway 40

TL;DR Due to bad road conditions, over 150 vehicles were involved in two crashes, which paralysed the autoroute 40 until the late afternoon. In 2008, a similar crash involving a similar amount of cars, at the same spot, led to questions about the road's safety during snowstorms. Officials did not follow through on recommendations to install trees along the route to reduce snow blow.

The first accident on Highway 640 involved 17 vehicles. Twenty minutes later, on highway 40 near l'Assomption, almost 150 vehicles were involved in an accident, 70 of which were damaged. The highway remained closed for almost five hours, until 4 p.m.

SUIVI : Fermeture #A40 à la hauteur #A31, direction OUEST, Lavaltrie, congestion détour via réseau local. Carambolage. L’autoroute 40 Ouest restera fermé encore pour plusieurs heures

January 27, 2019

The crash on the 40 is all too familiar to coroner Renée Duval. In an interview with the Journal de Montréal he describes a similar accident, one that happened almost thirteen years ago, on February 17, 2006.

That accident is considered to be the largest pile-up in Quebec's history. Over 77 cars were damaged, and it resulted in 33 people injured and two deaths.

The coroner says that, at the time, a veil of snow reduced visibility to almost zero, giving drivers the impression they were surrounded by a blinding white light. 

A40 OUEST FERMÉE | Une vingtaine de véhicules impliqués dans un carambolage sur l’autoroute 40, à L’Assomption

January 27, 2019

Yesterday's accident happened at almost the exact same spot, and involved a similar number of cars. 

On this part of the highway, the lack of trees and other vegetation means that there are no barriers between the light, powdery snow in the fields and the highway. 

In 2006, Duval recommended that trees should be planted at that spot. Obviously, his recommendations were not followed. 

That part of the highway is known to firefighters as a dangerous stretch, and, during bad weather spells, there are often accidents.

Carambolage sur l’autoroute 40 près de Montréal

January 28, 2019

Yesterday, powder snow again caused low visibility, and the icy roads meant that drivers had little breaking power. 

Several drivers recount the harrowing minutes when vehicles were colliding into each other left and right. Several went into the ditch to avoid being hit by other cars. Miraculously, though several people suffered from light injuries, no one was seriously hurt.

Be careful on the roads today and tomorrow! Road conditions are expected to be dangerous tomorrow because of an impending snowstorm.

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