News

North Bay trucker among dead in Highway 400 crash: wife

By JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES, The Nugget

Benjamin Dunn

Benjamin Dunn

A North Bay trucker and father to nine children, Benjamin Dunn, is believed to have died in the fiery Highway 400 crash Tuesday night.

Nikiyah Mulak-Dunn told Postmedia Network an OPP representative called her Wednesday because her husband’s truck was among the vehicles destroyed in the explosions following the collision south of Barrie.

She said police told her they still need to make a positive identification and have requested his dental records.

“We just told the kids, all nine of them. We are in shock. Oh my God, I’m so traumatized," she said. 

Dunn is one of three people who died in the 14-vehicle late-evening pileup that involved at least two fuel tankers, spilled thousands of litres of fuel onto Highway 400.

Police are continuing to comb through the wreckage in search of possible victims, a time-consuming task considering the extent of the damage.

The highway will remain closed until all have been identified and next-of-kin has been notified.

The highway may also need to be repaired before traffic can resume.

“There are cars everywhere, twisted transport trucks, destroyed vehicles, metal that is unrecognizable as to whether or not it is a vehicle at all or not. And that’s why we’re still looking to determine any other victims that may be inside the vehicles, which we haven’t been able to ascertain at this point,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told reporters at the scene.

“The damage to those involved vehicles is absolutely catastrophic and I can’t tell you if those people got out, if they’re still inside the vehicles.”

Schmidt said there’s going to be a lot of work to pull the victims out of those vehicles.

“It’s absolutely devastating and beyond description,” Schmidt said, noting that first responders were shocked by what they found when they arrived.

— With files from Canadian Press