An irregularity on the roadway that occurred near Ridgefield in the early morning on Christmas Eve and rapidly escalated into a multiple-vehicle collision, two deaths and numerous other injuries has traffic enforcement personnel both lamenting its severity and thankful that it didn't occur on a typical weekday or weekend.
The chain of motor vehicle accidents began when two wheels came off a tractor-trailer moving southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike. One of those wheels, unfortunately, struck a car and then slammed into a van. A third vehicle then ran into the disabled van, killing both the driver of that vehicle and the passenger in the van.
The damage didn't stop there. Another motorist driving by stopped to help, and he was also struck and injured. Two other cars were also unable to avoid collisions. Altogether, six vehicles - five cars and the tractor-trailer - were involved in the chain accident.
As stated, the human toll was high. In addition to the two fatalities, four other people were injured. They were brought to the Hackensack University Hospital and treated for moderate to minor injuries. A pregnant woman in one of the cars was also examined at the hospital, but released after an examination revealed no injuries to her or her child.
A State Police spokesman said that the tractor-trailer appeared to have had a mechanical failure. The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have yet been filed in the matter.
Related Resource: www.nj.com "String of car accidents result in fatalities on N.J. Turnpike" December 24, 2010