A two-car crash that trapped a woman in her vehicle and closed Highway 417 westbound during the height of the afternoon rush hour followed a police chase, CTV Ottawa has learned.

A witness told CTV Ottawa a white male was being chased by Ontario Provincial Police when he lost control of his vehicle at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The witness said the male driver got out of his vehicle at the centre median and ran through the grass between the west and eastbound lanes without shoes.

The witness reported the man ran in front of stopped cars in the eastbound lanes, and then tried to jump the fence along the highway.

An OPP officer, who was chasing the man in his cruiser, tried to stop traffic so he could chase the man on foot, according to the witness.

Police would not confirm if they were involved in a pursuit at the time of the incident.

Highway closed for hours

The crash backed up traffic on the westbound Queensway for hours, sending commuters on a detour at the Eagleson Road exit. Drivers were being diverted onto Campeau Drive and then back onto the highway at Terry Fox Drive early Tuesday evening.

A 50-year-old woman is in hospital with neck injuries after her van rolled and landed upside down in a north-side ditch. Water filled the vehicle, making it difficult for emergency crews to get the woman out.

The woman was conscious during the rescue, which took about 40 minutes.

Police predict the highway will be closed until at least 8 p.m. Investigators remained on scene early Tuesday evening.