What to Know
- Cars burst into flames after colliding on a busy freeway in Edison, New Jersey, Friday morning
- Two people died and at least six people were hurt in the pileup
- Part of Route 440 was closed in both directions as the investigation continued, snarling traffic
Two people were killed and a half-dozen others were hurt when seven vehicles collided on a major highway in New Jersey Friday morning, authorities say.
The fiery crash, which backed up traffic for hours, occurred shortly before 6 a.m. in the southbound lanes of Route 440, near the I-287 split in Edison.
Photos from the scene show four cars consumed by fire before dawn. The flames, sounds, traffic and chaos were overwhelming for witnesses.
"I heard gentlemen yelling," Joe Lucas, a nearby resident, said. "I don't know if they were trying to get people out of cars."
New Jersey State Police said two people were confirmed killed in the crash. They have not yet been identified.
Six more people who were injured were taken to area hospitals and are expected to survive.
Police were still investigating at the charred wreckage hours later. Multiple lanes of Route 440 were closed in both directions, causing major delays in the area through the morning.
Witnesses said the crash was all the more tragic given the holiday weekend.
"First thing you've got to think about is their family," said trucker Tom Tortorella of the victims. "Here you are a couple days before Christmas. That makes it even worse."