New Jersey

Dump Truck, 3 Cars Collide in Metal-Crushing Crash on NJ Highway; 1 Dead

Traffic was backed up for miles on I-78 during the evening rush as authorities investigated

One person died Thursday in a mangled crash involving a dump truck and three other cars on a New Jersey highway, leaving one of those vehicles completely crushed, state police say.

The crash just before 3 p.m. at Interstate 78 in Berkeley Heights caused huge delays during the evening rush. Investigators say a dump truck collided with two cars. 

Tire marks on the road show the truck may have crashed through the median, crossing from the eastbound lanes to the westbound. 

Chopper 4 over the scene showed debris spilled all across the highway, which was completely shut down in the westbound direction while authorities investigated. Three lanes reopened about three hours later, but some lanes didn't reopen for eight hours. 

Hundreds of drivers were stuck for more than four hours as traffic was backed up for more than five miles. One said it was the worst traffic jam he had ever seen. 

The victim was later identified as Donald Desmond, 53, of Pennsylvania. The driver of the truck, and two other cars all suffered minor injuries. 

 The cause of the crash is being investigated. 

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