80-vehicle pileup closes Highway 401 near Oshawa

A massive pileup involving as many as 80 vehicles has closed down Highway 401 east of Oshawa, Ont.

An Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson told CBC News that all westbound lanes of the highway are closed and traffic is being diverted.

It appears the worst part of the pileup is near Newcastle, at the Highway 35/115 exit.

"It just never ends. We stopped counting at 70 cars," said Filippo Fazzino, who was driving on the highway when the pileup happened.

Const. Linda Wolf said the weather conditions are far from ideal and have undoubtedly played a role in the accidents.

"It's too early to say what was the cause of the collision. We definitely will be looking at the weather conditions. We do have unfavourable driving conditions right across the Greater Toronto Area right now, so it's a wonderful opportunity to remind everybody to turn your headlights on, slow down, be aware of your stopping distances."

EMS officials say there is at least one injury that could be considered life-threatening, and several serious injuries.

But medical responders say considering the level of the accident, there is "more wreckage than injuries."

Wolf said it will take quite some time to clean up the mess and get traffic moving again.

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