EDITORIAL: OTTAWA SUN
FLYING TRACTOR - TRAILER WHEEL CAUSED FATAL ACCIDENT ON 417
Friday, February 10, 2017
OTTAWA -The OPP charged a driver and his employer after a set of wheels flew off a commercial tractor-trailer Friday morning, killing the driver of a van travelling in the opposite direction on Highway 417.
The driver who was killed has been identified by police as Gennadi Brianski, 50, of Carleton Place.
Brianski’s son, Dennis, posted a heartfelt message on his Facebook account Friday night breaking the tragic news about his dad, who he described as “the kindest man I’ve ever met in my life.”
“Never missed a day of work, and loved one woman for all his life,” Dennis wrote of his late father, who also went by the nickname “G man.”
“From facing mandatory conscription in the USSR, to moving to another country to raise a family. Let me tell you he didn't have an easy life by any means, but he still had a smile that would light up the room, and a resounding optimistic aura that followed him.”
Dennis could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
Dozens of supporters offered their condolences to Dennis on Facebook, describing his dad as a dedicated family man.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Daniel Mongeon, of Gatineau, has been charged under the Highway Traffic Act with one count of driving a commercial motor vehicle with parts detached. Police say he was driving a commercial vehicle for the Ottawa-based company, ICB Food Distribution.
The company has also been charged with permit operation of an unsafe commercial motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act.
A witness described seeing an object fly off the tractor trailer and smash into the windshield of the white van before blasting through the roof like an explosion. The roof of the white van was torn off in the collision, which happened around 6 a.m.
All eastbound lanes of Hwy. 417 were closed just west of the Carling exit, backing up traffic for kilometres and creating havoc for morning commuters for several hours. Lanes re-opened a few hours later.
The tractor-trailer that lost the wheel was travelling westbound on the Queensway, according to the OPP. The wheel jumped across the concrete median and struck the van travelling in the far right eastbound lane, said OPP Const. Guy Prevost.
The other driver had only minor injuries, according to Ottawa Paramedic Services. There was another four-car collision as drivers tried the avoid the debris on the highway caused by the first crash, but no one was injured, according to Prevost.
In another crash, a 71-year-old woman was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition early Friday morning after her car crashed head-on with a pickup truck on Prince of Wales Drive north of Fallowfield road.
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