An air ambulance was called to the eastbound lanes of the QEW in Burlington on Monday after a garbage truck appears to have rolled over as it was pulling onto the highway.
The crash occurred before 1 p.m. on the ramp between the southbound lanes of Guelph Line and the eastbound lanes of the highway. Two of the four eastbound lanes on that stretch were reopened before 2 p.m. but traffic in the area was slow.
OPP spokesperson Sergeant Kerry Schmidt said the driver — the truck’s sole occupant — had been trapped inside and was airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition.
The green garbage truck wound up on its side, partially on the ramp and partially on the outside lane of the highway. An Ornge air ambulance helicopter joined firefighters and other paramedics.
Traffic in both directions was stopped for the helicopter’s landing.
The garbage truck belongs to GFL Environmental, a contractor whose clients include the City of Hamilton, Toronto and Durham Region. Hamilton’s current contract with the company extends to 2020.
The Toronto Star recently reported that GFL trucks were in 274 collisions province-wide between June 2012 and July 2014. It said 65 convictions resulted from those collisions.
The province downgraded the company’s safety rating from “satisfactory” to “conditional” in April, the Star reported.
The OPP says closures could affect the evening rush hour.
“Expect it to be closed for much of the afternoon,” said Schmidt. “It will be three to four hours for investigation plus cleanup could take even longer, even though it’s done concurrently.
“This being a garbage truck, hopefully the load is contained.”