All five were attending educational programs in the Toronto and Montreal areas. On Sunday, the Ontario Provincial Police released the names of the dead: Harpreet Singh, 24, Jaspinder Singh, 21, Karanpal Singh, 22, Mohit Chouhan, 23, and Pawan Kumar, 23. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
A police spokeswoman told The PIE News that she did not know where the students were studying. Two other students were taken to hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer was not hurt.
The accident occurred at about 3:45 am Saturday on Highway 401 near Belleville, about 185 kilometres east of Toronto.
“The highway was closed down for 10 hours”
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident. “The highway was closed down for 10 hours,” said constable Maggie Pickett. “We have traffic reconstructionists out there so there’s a lot of investigation to take place before they’re able to make those determinations.”
Environment Canada, the national weather service, reported that there was light snow in the area at the time of the accident.
While the cause is still being investigated, there have been concerns expressed in the past that newcomers to Canada are not always aware of the hazards of driving in winter, including icy roads and snow reducing visibility.
The website Canadian immigrant offers tips about winter driving, including urging people to slow down and leave more space between other vehicles.