Update: 49-Year-Old Believed to be Victim of Fiery Turnpike Crash

One man - believed to be a 49-year-old resident of Belleville - was killed in the accident, which occurred about 9:45 a.m. near Exit 7A in Robbinsville Township.

Update, 8 p.m. Oct. 3:

Southbound lanes of the turnpike have reopened to traffic, according to the state police.


Update, 4:45 p.m. Oct. 3:

According to the New Jersey State Police, the truck driver killed in this morning's accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in Robbinsville is believed to be a 49-year-old man from Belleville.

However, official confirmation of the dead man's identity is pending the completion of the medical examiner's investigation, state police said.

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.

The state police, meanwhile, said eastbound lanes of Interstate 195 have reopened to traffic, however westbound lanes of I-195 remain closed.


Update, 1 p.m. Oct. 3:

New Jersey State Police have confirmed that the driver was killed.

According to the state police and turnpike authority, southbound traffic is being diverted off the turnpike at Exit 9, while northbound traffic is being detoured off the turnpike at Exit 4.

Meanwhile, eastbound traffic is being diverted off Interstate 195 at Exit 5 and westbound traffic detoured off I-195 at Exit 7.

Significant traffic backups have resulted on Route 1 and Route 130 throughout the region.


Original Story, posted 11:19 a.m. Oct. 3:

A fire involving an overturned truck closed both sides of the New Jersey Turnpike and also disrupted traffic along adjacent Interstate 195 in Robbinsville Township this morning (Oct. 3), according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and a witness to the crash.

While authorities have not commented on the extent of the driver’s injuries, first arriving emergency personnel reported that the man was trapped in the burning wreckage. The witness, who said she was traveling a few vehicles behind the truck when it flipped over and burst into flames, said the driver was killed.

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.

“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 the woman, 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.”

Patricia Silva October 06, 2012 at 06:09 PM
La perdida de Angelito deja un vacio muy fuerte en el corazon de todos sus conpaneros q los estimabamos y lo qqueriamos y siempre lo llevaremos en el corazon fue y sera un gran amigo nunca te olvidaremos descansa en paz ?from JMP trucking.
Joseph Castro October 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Rest in peace angel Valverde even we only talk on the phone you offer me a job and I was looking forward to work with you!!! But I went to work for Beltran Contractors!! God bless you, may god bless your family And protect us all on the road!! Mis Mas sentido pesame para la familia Valverde De Joseph Castro de BELTRAN CONTRACTORS NEWARK
FL Friends October 06, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I knew Angel only a short time. He & son were so nice to pick me up from the airport, which I appreciated so much! His wife is so lovely & sweet & beautiful. He has 2 handsome sons who I am sure will support one another together with their dear mom. We are FL neighbors & we did enjoy getting to know one another with each visit. I remember Angel's smile, how much he loved his family, & how happy he was to be in FL.  We are blessed to know Maria & sons & are looking forward to having more good times with them. May God keep them strong & touch each of their hearts with the comfort they will need in the coming days as they miss their husband & dad (in Jesus's name). We share your sadness for the loss of your dear & precious loved one & he will be missed by us as well. 
walter torres October 07, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Mis mas sentido pesame a la familia valverde por la perdida de angelito. Descanse en paz y dios lo tenga en su gloria. D i v trucking. # 9
Lynn Frey October 14, 2012 at 04:58 AM
My most heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with the man's family. My husband was killed in a truck crash just a few miles away from this spot last month. God be with you.


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