While most major roadways have now been salted, Ottawa roads remain a challenge. There were many Ottawa accidents this morning and late last night due to the freezing rain and Ottawa residents are being asked to take it slow after a spat of freezing rain overnight created large swaths of black ice throughout the city and a deluge of crashes. Ottawa Police were urging caution last night and this morning after a rush of collisions last night, involving Ottawa paramedics who were busy assessing patients at Ottawa accident scenes. Much of the action was taking place on Highway 417 last night.
Numerous Ottawa accidents
For a period of about 30 minutes, Ottawa paramedics said they received multiple calls for Ottawa accident between Woodroffe Avenue to the west and Nicholas Street to the east. And in responding to two of those calls — despite the 30 bright LED emergency lights flashing on each of their vehicles — other motorists on the highway managed to slam into them, causing personal injuries and “severe damage” to the vehicles involved. Four Ottawa paramedics were injured and forced to fall out of Sunday night’s busy rotation after two ambulances were rear-ended. The first occurred at about 10:15 p.m. when a black Chevrolet Blazer rear-ended an ambulance in the westbound lanes with all of its emergency lights flashing, paramedics said. The lone driver of the Blazer refused to be treated by paramedics, while two paramedics were treated for personal injuries by another crew. One minute later, a paramedic superintendent of operations issued a warning to all paramedics on the road to be wary of inattentive drivers in the rapidly deteriorating road conditions. Salt trucks were also called upon for problem spots on the 417. Five minutes after that, at 10:20 p.m., a two-vehicle crash near the eastbound Nicholas Street exit quickly snared 11 drivers, paramedics said. For the safety of the injured, all patients were taken to the Sandy Hill Arena for assessment. Of them, one was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and all others were released. A third collision on the 417 was reported at 10:45 p.m. just west of Woodroffe Avenue in the eastbound lanes. Paramedics said a Honda Civic travelling too fast for icy conditions rear-ended yet another ambulance with its emergency lights flashing. The Civic sustained severe damage to its front end but its driver refused treatment. Two paramedics, meanwhile, were treated for back injuries by a second crew. Startlingly, paramedics said a nearby Ontario Provincial Police cruiser was registering speeds by passing motorists at 115 kilometres per hour. By Monday morning at about 8 a.m., paramedics said they had so far responded to an estimated 20 collisions, the majority of them minor in nature.
Tips for staying safe at an Ottawa accident scene
After the onslaught of activity, Ottawa paramedics were taking the opportunity to remind drivers about Ottawa wintertime safety in the event of an accident. They said to stay inside your vehicle — which is designed with a safety cage — at all times to avoid being swiped by other vehicles. They also said that if you see flashing lights at some kind of scene up ahead, it’s likely because the conditions there are worse. Slow down, pass with caution, be aware that paramedics working the scene are often concealed by large vehicles, and leave plenty of room by moving over at least one full lane away from the scene.
Let’s keep us all safe out there on our very slick and icy Ottawa roads ! Be careful !