Prank likely behind strange discovery of car dangling from bridge near DVP: police

Police believe a prank is behind a puzzling incident that saw a car dangling from a bridge near the Don Valley Parkway on Wednesday morning.

The blue car was spotted hanging from underneath the Millwood Overpass Bridge, just south of Don Mills Road, by a passing police officer at around 7 a.m. Video from the CTV News Toronto helicopter shows the vehicle slowly spinning while suspended between two of the bridge’s beams. The interior of the car appeared “rigged” in some way, according to one reporter at the scene, and its glass and engine had been removed.

Police also said the vehicle appeared to be tied by a rope and “taped up in a suspicious way.”

Shortly before 10 a.m., Toronto firefighters safely cut the rope holding the car, causing it to hit the ground.

Initially, police said they believed the odd sight was part of an ongoing movie shoot but later said they could not find a permit to support that theory.

“In the early morning hours of rush hour we had multiple commuters call in that a car was hanging from the Millwood Bridge,” Sgt. Glen Russell told reporters at the scene.

“Through our sources at city hall and other sources we can confirm that it was not a movie shoot and as such, with the help of Toronto Fire Services, we cut the car down. We took it away on our flatbed to one of our units for a forensic investigation.”

Police say they will be looking into the background of the vehicle, but currently believe it was intended as a prank.

The mysterious finding posed a temporary danger to people using a bicycle path below the dangling vehicle. A group of cyclists riding by that morning stopped to gawk at the sight, many of them with the same sort of disbelief as police.

“We thought it was an actual accident,” one cyclist told CTV News Toronto. “I talked to a police officer and they said they didn’t know how it got here and that’s even more surprising”

“It’s crazy,” said another. “I’ve been on these trails for years and years and I’ve just never seen anything like it.”

Speaking to reporters at an unrelated event on Wednesday morning, Mayor John Tory said he was stunned when he saw the images of the car.

"Fortunately the land that is right beneath it is not a neighbourhood or another street. I think it is basically green space," he said.

Tory brushed off the idea that it was an unauthorized movie shoot, saying companies who apply for permits for filming in the city are usually "very carefully organized."

He said the situation has left him "mystified."

“You’d think if it was one of those film shoots, they are very carefully organized by the film shoot companies to get permission and frankly to communicate the information so as to avoid people being worried about somebody being in a bad condition,” he said.

"If it’s a prank, then obviously the law should apply to people who are doing things like that.”

This isn’t the first time a car has been hung from a bridge as part of a stunt.

Back in 2008, a group of University of British Columbia engineering students were believed to be responsible for suspending a Volkswagen Beetle from under the Lions Gate Bridge. The students saying they wanted to “draw attention to the masterful feat of professional engineers and to celebrate the skills of the tradespeople who built the bridges.”