Father of 3 identified as victim of fatal 417 crash
Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:06AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, September 17, 2014 6:21PM EDT
A young father of three from Casselman has been identified as the man killed in a horrible collision on the 417 east of Ottawa this morning. 37-year-old Mark Holland died when his car slammed into the back of a transport truck that was parked on the side of the highway.
The collision happened just before 8:00 this morning eastbound on the 417, just past Boundary Road. Ontario Provincial Police identified the man killed as Mark Holland of Casselman. Holland would have been travelling along the 417 east to return home but what happened along that route and how he ended up under that transport truck is still unknown. The damage to Holland's car was shocking; the injuries to the young father himself were catastrophic.
“The driver of the car was killed as a result of the collision,” says Cst. Rhéal Levac with the OPP. Holland was likely killed on impact, when his car left the paved road and hit a transport truck, which, according to OPP, was parked safely off to the side of the road. The driver, a man with years’ experience, according to the owner of the company, Fleetex, had pulled over onto the shoulder just a few minutes earlier when Holland slammed into the back of the rig.
"Truck drivers are mandated that they can only drive for a certain amount of time and then they need a rest period,” says Levac. “Ideally, they look for a rest stop but that's not always available so we do see them parked on side of road. As long as they are parked well off side of road and not interfering with traffic, we have no issue with that.”
Police have no idea at this point why Holland's car came off the road and onto the shoulder. That's part of the investigation. The 37-year-old was a father of three and ran a summer camp called Camp Kawabunga in Casselman.
“It’s a big shock,” says Danik Forgues, the former owner of the camp. Forgues had worked with Holland and said he was “a very good guy who cared a lot about the kids in the community.” When Forgues could no longer run the camp because of time pressures, Holland offered to buy it from him in order to keep it running.
The owner of Fleetex, the transport company out of Etobicoke, Gary Garcha, says his driver had just stepped out of the cab to use the washroom and didn't even see what happened. Garcha says the driver was not injured but was taken to the hospital to be treated for shock.
“He saw (the car) when he came back,” Garcha told CTV news over the phone, “he called police. He was scared and in shock.”
Highway 417 was closed for several hours this morning at Boundary Road while police investigated. The highway reopened mid-afternoon.