A man believed to have been walking on or along Route 80 in Totowa suffered severe head trauma when he was hit by a tractor trailer early this morning. Police say an emergency call reporting the accident came in at around 6:25 a.m. from whom they believe was the driver of the tractor trailer.
When police arrived, the victim was found on the left shoulder of the highway, but is not yet known where on the highway the man had been hit. Originally police had thought that the man was a disabled motorist, but then determined that he had been walking when they could not find a vehicle anywhere on the road that might have belonged to him.
The 21-year-old was immediately taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. Police do not know why the man was on the highway, and have not publicly released the man’s name.
At this point, it appears as if the driver of the truck who struck the man and possibly called police left the scene of the accident before police arrived. The details of the incident remain ambiguous as there appear to be few witnesses.
The highway stretches six lanes wide and the east and westbound lanes are separated by a raised median. The left lane of westbound Route 80 near Minnisink Road was closed following the accident and caused a half-mile long back-up of traffic during the morning commute. The road is now clear.
Anytime an accident involves something as powerful as a semi-truck, the consequences are serious. Accidents involving pedestrians and semis are even more dangerous, often resulting in fatalities. While the man’s reason for walking on the highway is unknown, an investigation will likely be conducted to provide some answers.
Source: NorthJersey.com, “Totowa man struck on Route 80 suffered severe head trauma,” Matthew Malysa, 3/11/2011.