(AFP) – Feb 8, 2012
OTTAWA — The driver of a van hit by a truck in Canada this week caused the crash that killed 10 Peruvian migrant workers and a trucker by failing to stop at a highway intersection, police said Wednesday.
The large truck collided Monday evening with the GMC passenger van carrying 13 people at the intersection of two rural roads near Stratford, Ontario, a small city of 30,000 and home to a famous Shakespeare festival.
"The driver of the van... failed to stop and provide the right of way for oncoming traffic," Ontario Provincial Police inspector Scott Lawson, head of the OPP highway safety division, told a press conference.
"It was this action that caused the collision."
Lawson also said the van driver was not licensed to ferry so many passengers in a vehicle.
Hampstead Poultry farm owner Albert Burgers said this week the 10 Peruvians who died in the crash were part of a crew that had just finished work for the day at his farm, vaccinating chickens.
They were employed by Brian's Poultry Service, which hires out teams of migrant workers to area chicken farms, and were on their way back to housing in nearby Kitchener, Ontario, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said.
Ten of the people in the van and the driver of the truck that broadsided the van were killed, police said. Three survivors, who spoke Spanish, were taken to hospital.
Police said they are still reviewing a vehicle data recorder found in the wreckage of the van and investigating possible driver fatigue or distraction as possible additional factors in the crash, as well as road and weather conditions, the mechanical fitness of both vehicles, and sight lines.
"People who drive through that area at a certain time of day, it may be difficult to see a stop sign if there was glare" from the sun," Lawson explained.
Police have not yet determined if speed also contributed to the crash, he added, noting that the posted speed limit was 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour).
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