One driver is dead and another seriously injured after a crash involving two tractor semi-trailer trucks and three other cars on Interstate 78 in Newark that resulted in a massive fire.
The crash occurred at 6:16 a.m. in the express lanes just east of Exit 57, according to New Jersey State Police. It resulted in the closure of all express lanes, according to the Department of Transportation. They remained closed as of 1 p.m.
The accident began when a Freightliner truck in the left lane of the eastbound local lanes struck and continued traveling along the left metal guardrail, and then traveled across the medians and the on-ramps from U.S. 1 and 9, according to New Jersey State Police.
It then crossed the I-78 eastbound express lanes, slammed into and went over the center concrete barrier and ended up in the westbound lane. The vehicle collided there with a westbound Clover Farms Transportation tractor semi-trailer, police said. Both trucks caught on fire.
The driver of the Freightliner, Israel Herrera Flores, 45, of Philadelphia, died as a result of the crash, according to State Police. The driver of the Clover Farms truck sustained serious injuries, police said. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Three other vehicles that were traveling westbound in the express lanes were struck either by vehicles or roadway debris, police said, but they did not have any information about injuries in those vehicles.
Videos of the massive truck fire posted to social media showed flames consuming both vehicles as Newark firefighters battled the blaze.
Around noon, crews were using cranes and other heavy equipment to remove the charred remains of the trucks from the highway.
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