***Did you see the motorcyclists on Hwy. 401 Thursday night? Let reporter Chris Doucette know what you saw at firstname.lastname@example.org***
A couple’s encounter with a bunch of wheelie-popping motorcyclists on Hwy. 401 ended with the woman punched in the face and the man narrowly escaping a fiery crash Thursday night in Mississauga.
Ontario Provincial Police say the harrowing ordeal began around 10:30 p.m. with a group of motorcycles riding slowly across all the westbound lanes of Hwy. 401 and impeding traffic.
“They were doing wheelies, performing stunts and different activities,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said Friday.
He said a Volkswagen sedan attempted to pass the bikes and an altercation ensued.
“As they came up beside the motorcycles, one of the motorcyclists actually caused some damage, smashed a portion of the vehicle,” Schmidt alleged.
He said the bikes and the car then exited the 401 at Dixie Rd. and stopped at the bottom of the ramp.
“The female passenger got out of the vehicle and confronted the motorcyclist that they had been talking to on the highway,” Schmidt said.
He said the motorcyclist then allegedly punched the woman in her face “while the other motorcyclists swarmed around the vehicle and started causing more damage to (the car).”
The driver of the car then drove off south on Dixie Rd., as did the motorcyclists, Schmidt said, explaining the woman was left behind.
Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, he said, but it’s believed the motorcyclists were chasing the car.
The car turned right onto nearby Aerowood Dr. and was heading west when the driver “failed to negotiate the curve,” left the road, struck a concrete retaining wall, rolled and burst into flames, Schmidt said.
Police said the driver was hospitalized but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Adding insult to injury, Andrei Sisu, 22, of Kitchener, was slapped with several criminal charges, including dangerous driving, possession of cocaine and drug trafficking, as well as Highway Traffic Act charges for driving while under suspension and violating his novice driver conditions.
The motorcyclists have yet to be apprehended.
Schmidt said there is no way to know if the incident is connected to a similar group of motorcyclists who were weaving through traffic and popping wheelies in Mississauga on Sept. 11.
A motorcycle was left behind in a smouldering heap following that wild ride, which also has not resulted in any arrests.
Schmidt urged motorists not to lose their cool on the road and confront other drivers.
“We don’t want to see people take the law into their own hands,” he said. “That will only end badly. And in this case, it ended very badly but it could have been deadly.”