Police say impaired driving a factor in New Year’s Eve crash on Highway 12

Police believe impaired driving played a role in a New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) accident on Highway 12 that sent seven people to hospital, including a teenager that sustained life-threatening injuries.

While few details have been released by police, the accident occurred around 5 p.m. near Balsam Road in Ramara Township.

When officers arrived at the scene, the victims were being tended to by Ramara Township firefighters and Simcoe County paramedics. All were taken to hospital in Orillia, though a 19-year-old male was later transferred to a Toronto-area hospital.

The highway was closed for more than six hours for the police investigation.

Daniel McCarthy, 35, of Barrie has been charged with five counts of operation causing bodily harm and five counts of operation while impaired.

He was released on a promise to appear and is due in Orillia court on Feb. 12.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Orillia OPP at 705-326-3536 or 1-888-310-1122.

“Impaired driving continues to impact the lives of our loved ones,” reads a media release.

“The OPP work hard at preventing such occurrences through proactive measures such as public education and RIDE programs; however, more can be done with the assistance of the public. If you are going to partake in consuming alcohol having a plan to get home safely is essential to keeping our roads safe.”

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