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Robbery suspect drove onto Highway 401 in the wrong direction before fatal crash, say police

Police are reporting a serious crash on Highway 401 east of Highway 412 in Whitby, Ont., that resulted in fatalities on Monday night.

The crash happened in the eastbound lanes, according to Ontario Provincial Police highway safety division spokesperson Sgt. Kerry Schmidt in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Police have not said how many people have died in the crash. 

Ontario’s special investigations unit (SIU) has been notified because of an interaction with Durham police, he added.

“Expect delays, expect congestion in the area,” Schmidt said.

Road closures could affect morning rush hour, he added.

Robbery suspect caused crash, say police

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, a spokesperson for Durham police, said officers were called to a robbery in the area of Green Road and Highway 2 in Clarington, Ont., around 7:50 p.m.

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

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

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

Highway 401 is closed in both directions between Lake Ridge Road and Brock Street in Whitby, according to a social media video featuring Schmidt posted shortly after 11 p.m. 

As well, Highway 412 southbound lanes are closed with no access to Highway 401 eastbound.

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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