‘Road Rage’ Truck Flips Over on NJ Highway — Caught on Camera
MAHWAH — Two drivers involved in a crash Tuesday morning on a busy roadway "miraculously" escaped injury after a road rage encounter ended with a violent crash, police said.
The incident happened on Route 17 when the driver of an SUV noticed a tractor trailer driving in what he believed was a reckless manner, Chief James Batelli said. The SUV driver "decided to take the matter into his own hands" and tried to slow the truck as it came up behind him, Batelli said.
The crash, which was caught on dashcam of another truck, happened when the tractor trailer tried to slow down. In the video, the truck can be seen losing control with a trailer full of candy, resulting in it crashing into a center median. After hitting the median the truck flipped and slid across the road.
"Miraculously no other vehicle struck the tractor trailer which could have resulted in a major accident event since it occurred at approximately 9:46 on a weekday morning," the police department said Tuesday in a statement.
The drivers of the two vehicles involved were not identified by name by the chief. The driver of the tractor trailer is a 36-year-old man from Depew, New York. He was issued summonses for careless driving, failure to maintain lane and failure to signal. The driver of the SUV was identified as a 44-year-old man from Montebello, New York. He was issued summonses for failure to maintain lanes, failure to signal and delaying traffic.
"It is fortunate that no one was injured in this accident and that the substance he was carrying did not contain any hazardous or combustible materials," the statement from the department said.
Batelli said studies have shown an increase in road rage related incidents in recent years, including one that said close to 8 million drivers "engaged in extreme examples of road rage." These included purposely hitting another vehicle or getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver. Rather than try to slow down the truck himself, Batelli said it would have been better for the driver of the SUV to call 911 and report the tractor trailer's erratic driving.
Traffic Bureau supervisor Lt. Scott Cherven said drivers "should avoid the temptation to try and retaliate, seek revenge or in any manner intimidate what they believe is a aggressive driver."
"What starts out as a motor vehicle violation can easily escalate in a very dangerous situation with the potential of very serious if not dangerous outcomes," he said.
Drivers who see aggressive driving can call 911, or dial #77 from their cell phone. Batelli said it is important for drivers to know where they are when reporting aggressive drivers as not all phones can be tracked through GPS.