Massive Highway Sign Collapses Onto Car, Killing Driver

A car was struck and the driver killed Tuesday morning when a highway sign fell onto Queen Elizabeth Way in Canada's Ontario province.

The 46-year-old man from Toronto was pronounced dead at the scene after the overhead sign collapsed and struck his car as it passed below, according to an announcement from the Ontario Provincial Police. The OPP initially said the man was from Niagara Falls, New York, but later issued a correction.

The freak accident occurred after an excavator operating in a construction zone by the highway hit the sign near Nikola Tesla Boulevard in Burlington just after 12:50 a.m. and the impact caused the sign to collapse.

According to news channel CP24, the excavator operator hit the sign as well as substantial steel frames anchored above the highway, launching them in the path of the victim's vehicle.

Fatal collision: #QEW Toronto bound at Nikola Tesla Blvd: An excavator in a construction zone struck an overhead road sign causing it to collapse and fall onto the roadway striking a passing vehicle. The 46 year driver from Niagara in the car was pronounced dead.

— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) April 27, 2021

Queen Elizabeth Way links Toronto with the Niagara Peninsula and Buffalo, New York. The highway was closed for cleanup and investigation Tuesday morning, and the OPP said it planned to reopen the lanes by 9 a.m.

Update on fatal collision this morning on the #QEW at Nikola Tesla Blvd

— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) April 27, 2021

Law enforcement is investigating the cause of the fatal collision, according to a tweet posted by OPP.

We're taking action to make Ontario's roads safer by introducing new measures that, if passed, will target aggressive and high-risk driving, protect pedestrians, cyclists and highway workers, and improve towing standards for consumers. Learn more:

— Ontario Ministry of Transportation (@ONtransport) April 26, 2021

The incident comes as the Ontario Ministry of Transportation introduced the Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act, on Tuesday. The proposed legislation contains a series of new measures that would protect drivers, such as increased oversight for the towing industry, specific measures against stunt driving and other measures that would improve road safety, according to a ministry press release.

"The Ontario Good Roads Association applauds the steps the Ontario government has taken to address road safety concerns and issues with the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act," Scott Butler, executive director of the Ontario Good Roads Association, said in the press release. "This is an important first step toward realizing a future where Ontarians are no longer fatally injured or seriously hurt on our roadways."

Bryan Hocking, chief executive officer of the Ontario Road Builders' Association, said the MOMS Act calls for "important tools that will make construction zones safer for workers and make our roadways safer for all Ontarians."

Newsweek reached out to the OPP and the Ontario Road Builders' Association for additional comment but did not hear back before publication.

car accident
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are seen in a convoy on Queen Elizabeth Way on April 6, 2020, in Toronto. A driver was killed Tuesday when his car was struck by a fallen road sign on the highway. Cole Burston/Getty Images