A fatal accident involving an overturned truck that closed both sides of the New Jersey Turnpike and disrupted traffic along Interstate 195 in Robbinsville Township this morning is expected to impact South Brunswick roads during rush hour traffic.
South Brunswick Police are advising motorists that heavy delays are expected on all township roads lasting into the evening rush hour. As of 3 p.m., heavy delays were reported on Route 1, Route 130, and Route 27, police said.
The delays are expected to last for several hours, according to the New Jersey State Police. As of 4:45 p.m., the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike remain closed between Exit 9 (Route 18) and Exit 7A (I-195), but northbound lanes have been reopened, according to the turnpike authority.
Vehicles were being diverted off the NJ Turnpike at Exit 4 northbound and at exit 9 southbound, while vehicles were also being diverted off I-195 at exit 5 eastbound and exit 7 westbound.
The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. along the southbound side of the turnpike in the area of milepost 60.6, just north of the Exit 7A interchange. New Jersey State Police have confirmed that the driver was killed.
“It was a couple cars back. I heard a boom. He [the truck driver] lost one of his wheels. He zigzagged and swerved and all that. Then he hit the median, flipped over, went on fire. And unfortunately the driver died,” said a witness to the accident, who asked to remain anonymous.
A resident of Mahwah, she was on her way to a job site in Sicklerville when she witnessed the tragedy. Not feeling it was safe to drive past the flaming truck, the woman backed her car away, pulled to the side of the road, and called 911. She said other motorists did the same.
She said an unmarked emergency vehicle, driven by man wearing a gun on his hip, was soon on the scene and tried to fight the blaze using gloves and a fire extinguisher.
But the fire was too intense and burned until fire crews from Robbinsville, Allentown, Cranbury and East Windsor arrived. The woman said firefighters arrived quickly and soon had the fire extinguished.
“I feel awful,” she said. “Apparently the driver who didn’t make it, his cousin is also a driver, and he’s a few trucks back. It’s so sad.”
For additional updates on the NJ Turnpike go to - http://www.state.nj.us/turnpike/
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