One Dead in 15-Vehicle Crash on the NJ Turnpike
All lanes have been reopened following a massive crash on the NJ Turnpike in Cranbury involving more than 15 vehicles that left one person dead.
The lanes were reopened around 8:25 a.m.
According to the NJ State Police Facebook page, the crash occurred at approximately 9:11 p.m. Monday night in the southbound lanes near milepost 71.3.
"At this time, there is one confirmed fatality. There are approximately 15-plus vehicles involved including four tractor-trailers, two box trucks, a fully-loaded bus and multiple cars," the NJ State Police wrote on their Facebook page.
Police closed the southbound lanes as emergency crews worked to transport victims to local hospitals and investigate the incident. The car lanes reopened several hours later. New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams says the truck lanes remain closed for several more hours to make guard rail repairs.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Turnpike spokesman Tom Feeney told NBC 4 New York that there were essentially 2 separate accidents in the same area.
The accident occurred during a mix of rain and snow flurries and below-freezing temperatures in Cranbury. Meteorologist Dan Zarrow says temperature at the nearby West Windsor weather station held steady at 26 degrees - definitely cold enough to sustain ice. "It was not actively raining or snowing at the time and location of the crash, as shown by the lull on the radar image," says Zarrow. "There was probably some mist around. And there were some bands of wintry mix (likely freezing rain) in the vicinity, which would have moved through Cranbury just before the time of the accident. So the road was almost certainly slick."
The injured were taken to a number of hospitals including Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton; University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro; and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick according to ABC 7.
Earlier Monday, the NJ State Police tweeted that troopers had responded to at least 78 crashes and 98 motorist aids since midnight. NJ has experienced cold and icy road conditions throughout last night and today, making travel hazardous throughout parts of the Garden State.