A 23-year-old Markham man has been charged with impaired driving by drug after a collision early Friday morning, in what York Region police say was their first cannabis-related impaired driving arrest after legalization.
An SUV and a tractor trailer collided on Highway 7, near Commerce Valley Dr., just after 2:30 a.m., causing “significant damage” to both vehicles, police said. The collision closed the highway for nearly five hours.
A fuel tank was ripped open, causing diesel to spill “all over the road,” police said.
The SUV driver is also charged with driving while under suspension, driving at an unlawful hour for a novice driver and driving with no accompanying driver.
York Region police spokesperson Andy Pattenden said police believe the man was under the influence of cannabis and potentially other drugs, but that they’re waiting on tests to confirm.
“At this point in time, we’re suspecting a cocktail of drugs, cannabis being one of them,” he said. “We would like to remind citizens that this an example of exactly what we’ve been warning and what we’ve been worried about with the legalization of cannabis. That is, using cannabis, mixing cannabis with alcohol or other drugs and driving is a recipe for disaster.”
With files from yorkregion.com
Jack Hauen is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @jackhauen