Two people were killed in separate crashes on the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

A Ford F150 pickup truck was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer pulling a flatbed as they entered the southbound Exit 1 toll plaza around 4:30 AM. The truck overturned, spilling its load of lumber, which blocked six toll lanes for most of the morning commute.

The passenger in the truck, Kastarra Sha Quinta Lawrence, 23 of Augusta, Georgia, died from injuries.  Driver Corey McKonnen Duncan Jr., 23, also of Augusta, was hospitalized with critical injuries, Trooper Brandi Slota said.

The driver of the truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Slota.

Struck outside their vehicle

Jeanne M. Wurth, 53, of Pittsgrove, was standing on the left shoulder of the northbound Turnpike just north of the Delaware Memorial Bride around 11 p.m. Monday when she was hit by a tractor-trailer standing next to her disabled vehicle.

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The driver of a tractor-trailer swerved to the left to avoid hitting the vehicle and struck Wurth, according to Slota. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

It's the second fatal crash on the Turnpike involving a driver who got out of their vehicle in less than a week. Charles H. Niclas 3rd, 43, of Somerdale, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on Saturday afternoon.

State Police advise staying inside your vehicle if you have to pull over to the safest thing to do. Drivers should also turn on their hazard lights and call 911.

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The 2002-2003 New Jersey Nets: The last time the NBA Finals came through NJ

In 2012 the Nets made their Brooklyn debut, but before that, New Jersey was the home of the Nets dating back to 1977.

The franchise was born in 1967, under the name the New Jersey Americans. They played their games in Teaneck as part of the American Basketball Association. One year later they moved to Long Island, becoming the New York Nets.

It was there the team won two ABA championships in 1973-74 and 1975-76. The very next year the Nets, along with three other basketball franchises, were absorbed into the NBA as part of a merger deal, abolishing the ABA. 

When the Nets first moved to New Jersey, they played their home games at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. Then in 1981, they moved into the home many of us remember them in the most, the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford (later named the Continental Airlines Arena, then Izod center). 

After years of losing, The Nets made it to two straight NBA Finals in 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, the final time they sniffed the championship, the team lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

It would be the last time the Nets sniffed the title, but their efforts added them to New Jersey lore forever.

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