Fatal NJ Turnpike Crash Halts Traffic For Thousands Of Drivers - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Fatal NJ Turnpike Crash Halts Traffic For Thousands Of Drivers

Posted: Updated:
Robbinsville, NJ -

For thousands of drivers, it was a traffic nightmare Wednesday in Mercer County.

Ambulances, fire engines and construction equipment all jockeyed for position across the

southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike near exit 7A, after a deadly crash.

The accident shut down both directions of traffic on the turnpike for five long hours.

It's a sight you rarely ever see on the Turnpike: cars, trucks and big rigs making a U-turn, one by one, from the southbound lanes to the northbound side.

Crews had to remove a barrier between the two directions of traffic, to ease the massive backup that stretched for miles.

And the impact didn't stop there.

Joe Dee, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, told Fox 29 that transportation officials as far north as Connecticut were urged to warn drivers to avoid the turnpike.

Up above the turnpike on Robbinsville-Allentown Road in Robbinsville, motorists were only slightly less frustrated than the drivers on the turnpike.

Many sat in traffic for hours.

The accident, which happened just before 10 a.m., is still under investigation. A dump truck had lost control, landed on its side, and caught fire under the Interstate 195 overpass, killing the driver. NJ DOT Spokesman Joe Dee says it's not clear yet whether a road-widening project on that stretch of turnpike played a role in the accident.

The fire damaged the overpass, forcing transportation officials to shut down traffic on I-195 as well. By 3 o'clock, the eastbound lanes reopened again. And so did the turnpike in both directions, a full five hours after motorists came to a grinding halt. But southbound traffic still crawled through only one open lane.

And the hangover lingered on just about every other major roadway in the vicinity.

Interstate 195 is a critically important east-west roadway for state workers in Trenton, who commute from shore towns. By 3 o'clock, crews managed to re-open both eastbound lanes, but the westbound lanes remained closed.

Engineers are trying to figure out how badly the fire damaged the bridge-- and will have to shut down traffic again once the afternoon commute is over. State transportation officials still aren't sure which lanes might be open in time for Thursday's morning commute.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Beautiful Easter Sunday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:09:12 GMT

    NICE EASTER WEEKEND

    The first half of the holiday weekend has been great and Easter Sunday looks just as nice. Clouds thin out late tonight with temperatures falling back to the 40s.

    Initially it'll be jacket weather early Sunday morning but plenty of sunshine will warm us into the 60s by afternoon.  High temperatures will be a few degrees cooler than Saturday.

    It will be noticeably cooler and breezy at the shore with highs in the low 50s.  Quiet conditions continue into Monday.

  • Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:38:03 GMT
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices