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Fatal crash closes eastbound Highway 401 in Whitby

The eastbound Highway 401 is closed in Whitby early Tuesday after a pursuit that began with a call about a robbery ended in a fatal crash, provincial police say.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the closure is in place between Lake Ridge Road and Brock Street. The entire highway had been closed overnight, but the westbound lanes were reopened to traffic shortly before 7 a.m.

The deadly crash happened in the eastbound lanes near the exit for Highway 412 Monday evening. Police have not said how many people were killed.

According to Durham Regional Police, a robbery suspect caused the multi-vehicle collision after allegedly driving onto the road in the wrong direction.

Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss said officers were called to a robbery in the area of Green Road and Highway 2 in Clarington around 7:50 p.m.

“The suspect fled in a vehicle, which was pursed by police,” Bortoloss said.

During the pursuit, the suspect entered onto the highway going in the wrong direction, she added.

“A multi-vehicle collision occurred, as well as fatalities,” Bortoluss said.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate because Durham police were involved in the crash.

The SIU investigates the conduct of police officers in incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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