6 people dead in single vehicle crash near Barrie, police say

·3 min read
The single-vehicle crash happened in the area of McKay Road and Simcoe County Road 27, southwest of Barrie, according to the Barrie Police Service. (Alexis Raymon/CBC - image credit)
The single-vehicle crash happened in the area of McKay Road and Simcoe County Road 27, southwest of Barrie, according to the Barrie Police Service. (Alexis Raymon/CBC - image credit)

Barrie, Ont. police say six people died in a vehicle crash early Sunday and they are believed to be the same people reported missing hours earlier.

The single-vehicle crash happened in the area of McKay Road and Simcoe County Road 27, southwest of Barrie, according to Jennett Mays, spokesperson for the Barrie Police Service. An officer found the vehicle at about 2 a.m.

All six people were found dead at the crash site, Mays said. Police have not released names and exact ages.

Four men and two women, all in their early 20s, were reported missing to police at about 8 p.m. on Saturday.

"It is believed that the occupants were the six missing persons from Saturday evening," Mays said, adding that next of kin are being notified.

Police had posted missing persons reports about the six on social media accounts on Saturday but have since deleted those posts.

Police trying to piece together what led to crash

Police are trying to determine what happened before the crash and what led to it, Mays said.

"It's going to be a complex investigation and it will continue in the coming days," she said.

Mays would not say if alcohol had been a factor in the crash. "There is ongoing investigation that will look at what happened and what led to it," she said. "I wouldn't want to speculate as to what may have led to it as this point."

Alexis Raymon/CBC
Alexis Raymon/CBC

According to Mays, no one had reported the crash and an officer came upon the scene, she said.

Officers from the Barrie police traffic unit, along with officers from its investigative unit, remain at the scene. Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact Barrie police.

Crash 'shocking and horrible,' mayor says

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said the crash was a "shocking and horrible tragedy" and he urged residents to rally around the families who have lost loved ones.

"As a parent myself this is the worst nightmare. The six families in our city who are devastated this morning need all of our compassion and support, Barrie," Lehman said on Twitter.

Lehman added that family members and friends of the six who died will need support.

In an interview with CBC Toronto, Lehman said six families in Barrie were "torn apart" on Sunday. The city and its residents are heartbroken along with the families and their hearts go out to them, he said.

"My main message today for folks is just try and give the families your compassion but also your respect and space and understand that they just received the worst news possible. And we will need to support them in the days ahead," he said.

Lehman said he was notified by emergency services on early Sunday about the crash but has not gone to the scene himself. He has been in contact with the police and fire chiefs. He urged residents not to speculate about the cause of the crash.

He noted that there has been an outpouring of support for the families and many stories shared about the six on social media. He said it's clear that the six young people touched many lives.

"It's difficult to make sense of. I think the community itself is in shock today," he said. "It's very, very clear that they are going to be sorely, sorely missed."

'Such a sad day for our community,' fire chief says

Barrie Fire Chief Cory Mainprize said the news marks "such a sad day for our community" and he expressed condolences on behalf of the fire department.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also offered his condolences on Twitter.

"On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of these six young individuals," Ford wrote on Twitter. "We are holding you all in our hearts during this time of unspeakable pain."

Alexis Raymon/CBC
Alexis Raymon/CBC