According to authorities, 10 people were injured in an accident that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike outer roadway on Dec. 17 at 7:49 a.m. The four vehicle collision occurred when a tractor-trailer that was traveling in the right center lane attempted to change lanes into the left center lane, causing a chain reaction series of crashes. The truck crashed into the back side of a bus traveling in the High Occupancy vehicle lane; two other trucks were also involved in the crash.
Several lanes of the turnpike were closed until early afternoon, causing northbound traffic to be backed up for as much as seven miles. The accident was cleared around 12:50 p.m., according to police. Two of the ten individuals in the accident were seriously injured and taken to the University Hospital in Newark. One of the passengers who was seriously injured had to be extricated from the bus; the conditions of the injured parties have not yet been released.
The accident took place near Exit 13 for the Goethals Bridge and initially caused three lanes on I-287 to be backed-up with traffic, according to the state Department of Transportation. Police believe the tractor-trailer driver was responsible for making an improper pass and further stated that the preliminary finding about the bus driver is that he was not at fault. At the time of the report, charges had not been filed against the other drivers because the accident is still under investigation.
Whenever a truck accident causes injuries or fatalities, police may thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident to determine if conditions such as driver fatigue contributed to the wreck. If they can establish that the driver had been working extremely long hours they may able to determine that he was responsible for the accident.
Source: NJ.com, "10 injured in NJ Transit bus, tractor-trailer crash on Turnpike in Linden", Jessica Remo & Larry Higgs, December 17, 2014