5 killed in Turnpike crash all in 70s

April 26, 2009 3:30:16 PM PDT
Five people killed when their car was struck by a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike and burst into flames this weekend were acquaintances in their 70s, including a married couple, headed to a gathering. Their car had been stopped in traffic Saturday afternoon in the right southbound lane in Mount Laurel, a Philadelphia suburb. It shot into the center lane with them trapped inside, triggering crashes involving six other vehicles.

State police identified the victims as married Passaic residents Jeanette Urbano, 72, and Salvatore Urbano, 74, and Kearny residents Anna Kane, 76, Rose Kane, 75, and Francis Kane, 78. They said it's believed that two of the Kanes were married and the third was related to them and that the group was headed to a function, possibly a wedding, in southern Jersey.

A woman who answered the phone at the Westfield home of the Urbanos' son on Sunday called the accident "a horrific tragedy" and said the family didn't want to comment.

Three New York City area residents in another car were seriously injured in the accident, which initially was reported as a 10-vehicle wreck. One was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital and remained in critical condition Sunday, while another was hospitalized in serious but stable condition. The third was released from the hospital by Sunday afternoon.

The driver of the tractor-trailer had his blood drawn for testing, which is routine procedure in a fatal accident, but the results were not expected for several weeks.

The crash forced the hours-long closure of 25 miles of southbound roadway on the turnpike, one of the nation's busiest highways and up to 14 lanes wide in parts.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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