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Saturday morning car crash claims three lives

Three persons died and two others were seriously injured in a high speed car crash early Saturday morning. The accident, which occurred on Route 22 in Hillside, took place when a car ran into steel pole and concrete overpass.

Saturday’s car accident is the second within a two week period. Sources say that another fatal accident took place less than two weeks ago in the same place where there is a sharp curve in the highway. That accident claimed the life of a 26-year-old Newark woman.

According to police, Saturday’s accident took place when a 1994 Honda Accord smashed into base of the North Broad Street overpass, causing three of its occupants to be thrown from the vehicle.

Police said the driver of the Honda, a 22-year-old East Newark man, was travelling at a very fast speed prior to the crash, though the exact speed is still under investigation. Sources say the vehicle itself split almost in half as a result of the accident.

Among the victims of the accident were two young men from Kearny, 23 and 21 years of age. One of the young men had been sitting in the front passenger’s seat, while the other had been sitting in the back seat before they were projected from the vehicle as a result of the high velocity impact. Another young man and a young woman in their early 20s were also thrown from the vehicle, and were later taken to the University Hospital in Newark for treatment. Doctors are hopeful the latter two will survive.

Police said it wasn’t clear whether the occupants had been wearing seatbelts, since the vehicle was destroyed in the accident. Hillside Police Chief Robert B. Quinlan said Route 22 has a couple fatal accidents every year, and noted that the road has “very dangerous curves.” The curves involved in the recent deaths, he said, “are some of the worst curves on Route 22 in New Jersey.” The police department has asked the Department of Transportation to install improved warning signs on the state highway.

The Hillside Police are continuing to investigate Saturday’s accident.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Three men are killed in one-car crash on Route 22 in Hillside,” Simone Sebastian, 2 April 2011.

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