Truck convoy a ‘contributing factor’ in fatal crash along Hwy. 401: Police

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Provincial police have identified the man killed in a Highway 401 crash last month in Chatham-Kent, a two-vehicle collision investigators say was “indirectly involved” with an anti-restriction convoy in the area.

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Chatham-Kent OPP responded to a crash in the eastbound lanes of the highway, just west of Bloomfield Road, shortly after 9:30 am on Jan. 27.

OPP on Sunday announced Robert Anthony Charron, 43, of Chatham was killed in the crash.

“An ongoing truck convoy protest was indirectly involved and was a contributing factor to this fatal collision,” Chatham-Kent OPP said in a statement.

That day, a convoy of trucks was passing through Southwestern Ontario along the 401 en route to Ottawa to participate in a protest opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions.

The initial weekend demonstration in Ottawa evolved into a more than three-week occupation that was busted in a coordinated police operation over the weekend. Officers made 191 arrests, laid 389 charges and towed 79 vehicles from downtown Ottawa.

The Ottawa demonstration spawned other anti-government and anti-restriction protests across Canada, including a days-long blockade at Windsor’s Ambassador Bridge and a shutdown of westbound Highway 402 near Watford. Both demonstrations have since been cleared.

Anyone with information about the Jan. 27 crash is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or the Chatham-Kent detachment at (519) 352-1122. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crime-stoppers.on.ca.

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