3 killed after fiery crash between minivan, tractor trailer in South Brunswick

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Friday, April 12, 2024
3 killed after fiery crash between van, tractor trailer in New Jersey
NJ Burkett has details on the fatal crash in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Three people were killed after a horrific and fiery crash in South Brunswick on Friday morning, police say.

A tractor trailer and a van carrying developmentally disabled adults collided on Route 1 at Ridge Road just after 9:30 a.m.

Police believe the three people inside the minivan, including a driver and two passengers, were killed in the crash after the vehicle caught fire.

Authorities said the flames were so intense that it would have been impossible to save anyone inside.

"The fire was intense at the time everyone arrived. There was no there's no opportunity to deal with it. The impact was significant. It pushed it almost 200 yards from the intersection. So there was no opportunity," South Brunswick Deputy Police Chief Jim Ryan said.

The driver of the tractor trailer survived and was treated for mostly minor injuries. The van was operated by Community Options, a Princeton-based firm that develops housing and employment assistance for the developmentally and intellectually disabled.

"Our heart goes out to the two people with severe disabilities who we have supported and to the staff person. Our prayers are with the families and all of their loved ones. We are crest fallen and deeply saddened," Community Options' Robert Stack said in a statement.

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka also released a statement on Friday.

"Today has been a tragic day with three lives lost in this terrible crash," he said. "My heart goes out to the families and friends. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

The northbound lanes of Route 1 were shut down all day. The medical examiner will need to remove the victims as accident investigators continue to examine the wreckage and surveillance video to determine the cause of the crash.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area as Route 1 at the intersection of Ridge Road remains closed. The investigation and cleanup are expected to last until 9 p.m.

Police alerting drivers to utilize Route 27 and Route 130 as an alternate travel path.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Bryan Sites of the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329- 4646 or Sergeant Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at (732) 745-4328.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated the minivan was carrying senior citizens, based on initial information from police.

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