A vehicle rests among the trees after what police call a 'catastrophic' fatal crash north of London, Ont. on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (Sean Irvine / CTV News)

Middlesex OPP say the man killed in a single-vehicle crash on Monday was 43-year-old Jose Rayo of London, Ont.

Emergency crews responded to Prospect Hill Road near Eight Mile Road northeast of the city around 5 a.m. Monday for the collision.

A sedan had left the road and struck a group of trees, resulting in 'catastrophic damage' to the vehicle.

The lone occupant was extricated from the vehicle and transported to hospital where he later died of his injuries.

The investigation is still in the preliminary stages, but police believe speed was a factor and are encouraging drivers to slow down.

Fatal collision jump in 2020

Provincial police also released details on a 'sobering' rise in the number of fatal collisions in Middlesex County from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31.

They are up 37.5 per cent over the same period in 2019.

So far there have been 11 fatal crashes and 12 deaths, which mark an increase in deaths of 33.3 per cent over 2019.

Middlesex OPP have also responded to 100 personal injury collisions and 634 non-injury collisions. A total of 174 people have been injured in crashes so far this year.

 

Detachment Commander Insp. Dean Croker said in a statement that the "sad reality" is that these fatal accidents were preventable.

"Unfortunately, Middlesex first responders have been forced to deal with horrific scenes eleven times in 2020 and that comes with an emotional toll. However, the emotional impact these scenes have on our first responders is nothing compared to the life-altering changes that occur to the affected families and friends."