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Accident involving tractor-trailer and van leaves 2 injured

An accident in New Jersey involving a van and a tractor-trailer on Feb. 11 left two men seriously injured. The accident took place on a busy section of Route 3 at approximately 12:30 p.m. The crash caused significant traffic delays as emergency response personnel tended to the injured men and police began their investigation.

According to a police report, the tractor-trailer accident occurred in the eastbound lanes of Route 3 in Secaucus when part of a crane being transported by the tractor-trailer struck the Paterson Plank Road overpass. The impact caused part of the crane to be dislodged, and debris fell onto a van that had also been traveling eastbound. First responders arriving at the scene found the van had been crushed by falling debris with its two occupants trapped inside.

Firefighters were able to free the van's passenger after about 20 minutes, and he was transported by paramedics to a medical facility in Hackensack for treatment. However, both of the driver's legs had been pinned by the debris, and it took rescue workers approximately 90 minutes to free him. A helicopter was then called in to transport the badly injured man to hospital. The police investigation into the accident is focusing on why the tractor-trailer's load struck the bridge. Officers say that they are puzzled because the crane had managed to pass safely below a number of similar bridges before striking the overpass.

The operators of large and heavy commercial vehicles have a duty of care to ensure that they do not endanger other road users. A personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit against truck drivers, trucking companies or their insurance carriers when this duty is not met.

Source: WPIX, "Two injured, major traffic delays after tractor-trailer hits NJ overpass", Feb. 11, 2015

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