UPDATED: Police ID victim in fatal multi-vehicle pileup and toxic spill on Highway 401
Ontario Provincial Police have released the identity of the victim of Tuesday's fatal crash and toxic chemical spill on Highway 401.
45-year-old Ian Melville, of Hamilton, was a transport truck driver involved in the initial crash that led to the 30-vehicle pileup. He succumbed to his injuries Tuesday evening.
The Kingston General Hospital says the coroner has been summoned.
The crash happened around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, in the westbound lanes of the highway just east of Highway 137. The initial crash involved five tractor trailers and one car. The secondary collision was also westbound, about one kilometer west of the first and involved seven tractor trailers and three vehicles. There were multiple chain reactions after the fact behind those two collisions.
The truck Melville was driving was carrying toxic chemicals, which spilled onto the roadway, prompting an evacuation. Drivers in the area were told to stay in their cars to avoid contact with the chemical. A hazardous materials team was called to the scene.
Still, the Kingston General Hospital says 33 patients were transported to the hospital as a precaution. 18 of those were a mix of firefighters, paramedics and OPP officers.
The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands says the scene of the chemical spill was contained just after 5:00 p.m.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Township says "all vehicles have been re-routed and all persons with potential chemical exposure having been transported for medical attention. No residential properties were affected and there is no risk to the general public. The Ministry of the Environment has been notified and clean-up crews have arrived on site to remediate the area from the chemical spill."
The Kingston General Hospital had declared a "code orange"--an external disaster code--in response. The code orange was ended at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.
The chemical involved was identified by the hospital as fluorosilicic acid. The hospital says exposure to the chemical can cause irritation to the nose, throat, and respiratory system; irritation, redness or swelling of the skin; and severe eye irritation.
The highway fully reopened after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.