Update: 49-Year-Old Believed to be Victim of Fiery Turnpike Crash

One man - believed to be a 49-year-old resident of Belleville - was killed in the accident, which occurred about 9:45 a.m. near Exit 7A in Robbinsville Township.

Update, 8 p.m. Oct. 3:

Southbound lanes of the turnpike have reopened to traffic, according to the state police.


Update, 4:45 p.m. Oct. 3:

According to the New Jersey State Police, the truck driver killed in this morning's accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in Robbinsville is believed to be a 49-year-old man from Belleville.

However, official confirmation of the dead man's identity is pending the completion of the medical examiner's investigation, state police said.

The southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike remain closed between Exit 9 (Route 18) and Exit 7A (I-195), but northbound lanes have been reopened, according to the turnpike authority.

The state police, meanwhile, said eastbound lanes of Interstate 195 have reopened to traffic, however westbound lanes of I-195 remain closed.


Update, 1 p.m. Oct. 3:

New Jersey State Police have confirmed that the driver was killed.

According to the state police and turnpike authority, southbound traffic is being diverted off the turnpike at Exit 9, while northbound traffic is being detoured off the turnpike at Exit 4.

Meanwhile, eastbound traffic is being diverted off Interstate 195 at Exit 5 and westbound traffic detoured off I-195 at Exit 7.

Significant traffic backups have resulted on Route 1 and Route 130 throughout the region.


Original Story, posted 11:19 a.m. Oct. 3:

A fire involving an overturned truck closed both sides of the New Jersey Turnpike and also disrupted traffic along adjacent Interstate 195 in Robbinsville Township this morning (Oct. 3), according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and a witness to the crash.

While authorities have not commented on the extent of the driver’s injuries, first arriving emergency personnel reported that the man was trapped in the burning wreckage. The witness, who said she was traveling a few vehicles behind the truck when it flipped over and burst into flames, said the driver was killed.

The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. along the southbound side of the turnpike in the area of milepost 60.6, just north of the Exit 7A interchange.

“It was a couple cars back. I heard a boom. He [the truck driver] lost one of his wheels. He zigzagged and swerved and all that. Then he hit the median, flipped over, went on fire. And unfortunately the driver died,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

A resident of Mahwah, she was on her way to a job site in Sicklerville when she witnessed the tragedy.

Not feeling it was safe to drive past the flaming truck, the woman backed her car away, pulled to the side of the road, and called 911. She said other motorists did the same.

She said an unmarked emergency vehicle, driven by man wearing a gun on his hip, was soon on the scene and tried to fight the blaze using gloves and a fire extinguisher.

But the fire was too intense and burned until fire crews from Robbinsville, Allentown, Cranbury and East Windsor arrived. The woman said firefighters arrived quickly and soon had the fire extinguished.

“I feel awful,” she said. “Apparently the driver who didn’t make it, his cousin is also a driver, and he’s a few trucks back. It’s so sad.”

whatever41 October 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Tragic, my thoughts go out to the family. Hope the authorities check the overpass. Looks like it could be damaged by the fire.
Jessica Licata October 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
My prayers and thoughts go out to the family in this time of sorrow. This is very tragic. may the driver rest in Peace.
Beltran contractors October 03, 2012 at 06:02 PM
De corazon sintiendo mucho a la flia por Lo sucedido que Dios tenga en Si Gloria a Angelito.mi mas sentido pesame DE BELTRAN CONTRACTORS
Sanriobaby October 03, 2012 at 06:51 PM
So sad to hear of this, my thoughts and prayers go out this this man's family and friends. There seems to be quite a few more car accidents on the road lately, a sad but important reminder to be careful while driving,......
javier tapia October 03, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Mi mas sentido pesame a la famila valverde conoci a angel muy linda persona que Dios nuestro senor lo tenga en su santa gloria. Mis oraciones estan con ustedes. Juquila trucking
Luis October 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I'm dump truck driver too, also I was working a few years ago with " Angelito" in the same place " the ash", him toll me that 2 or 3 years more and I done him said, i retired and move out to the Florida. all my thoughts and prayers for his family , rest in peace my friend
Dee Greaves October 03, 2012 at 10:06 PM
My prayers and thoughts go out to the family in this time of sorrow. May he rest in peace.
"ANGEL" October 03, 2012 at 10:24 PM
my thoughts and prayers go out to this mans family and friends....being in the trucking industry most of my life I know first hand how dangerous a job it is and I'm thankful I have never had to get the dreaded phone call this family had to receive ~ god bless your family.....and to all the people that were complaining for being "inconvenienced" today in the major traffic jams......when you finally get home make sure you count your blessing and tell your loved ones you love them because atleast you are having the chance to tell them this poor family isn't getting that chance...they are dealing with the death of their loved one and having to plan a funeral.....thank god my truck driver made it home safe again....RIP
richard toledo October 04, 2012 at 12:09 AM
mi mas sentido pesame a toda la familia de mi gran amigo" Angelito" valverde,me uno a su dolor ,,,,es una perdida para todos, fue un gran ejemplo para nosotros los truckeros,,,,ya que el compartia muchas de sus experiencias ,,,que descanse en pas y que dios mi señor lo tenga un su gloria RIP (RJT trucking)
raul gonzalez pardo October 04, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Mis mayores condolensias. A la familia de anjelito Que empas descance. Y nuestro senor Lo tenga en la groria eterna de parte de. Raul. El drive. De. Div
Shirley Express LLC October 04, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Dios y la Virgen Santisima lo tengan en su gloria y descanse en paz. También rogamos por su familia para que les den la fortaleza para saber sobrellevar tan penosa perdida . ( Shirley Express LLC)
Christina Marie October 04, 2012 at 02:16 AM
So sad, may he RIP
Juan Calle October 04, 2012 at 03:24 AM
my prayers go out to the family because of their lost its so sad that that happened god bless his familys and him
Juan Calle October 04, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Mi mas sentido pesame a toda la familia valverde por esta tremenda perdida que dios y la virgen santisima le tenga en su santa gloria y que dios les de fortaleza para poder sobrellevar este dolor tan grande a toda su familia mis oraciones esta con su familia JUAN CALLE. despache de VISION TRANSPORT INC.
Angel S Valverde Jr. October 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Thanks for all the condolences. It is greatly appreciated during these trying times. If anyone who was close to my dad, Angel Valverde, or even knew him and would like to pay their last respects: Funeral Wake: Friday 10/4/2012 4PM-9PM at Ippolito Stellato Funeral Homes, Inc. 425 Ridge Road Lyndhurst, NJ 07071. Mass: Saturday 10/5/2012 11AM St. Peters Church 155 William Street, Belleville, NJ 07109
Gustavo Montero October 04, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Prayers go out to his family from mine to his.All drivers feel for him because we all can agree that, that's our biggest fear.Para todos mis amigos y a todo los choferes...que dios los cuiden...suerte. Gustavo (Gus) #16 Hillwick Inc.
Holger Silva October 05, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Mis mas sentido pesame a la familia Valverde ante tan trajica perdida. Que dios le tenga en su gloria. De parte de Holger Trucking,
Milton Luzuriaga October 05, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Siento un inmenso dolor que ANGEL ya no este con nosotros,no lo podemos tocar ni escuchar su voz pero sus ensenanzas,amor y carino no morira jamas en la memoria de quienes tuvimos la suerte de conocerle.Mi familia y yo nos unimos a tan irreparable perdida expresando nuestra mas sentida nota de condolencia a su esposa,hijos,familiares y amigos.Que Dios y la Virgen Santisima le tenga en su gloria.
KLEBER VELEZ October 05, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Rafael Penafiel October 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Jaym Trans mis mas sentido pesame ala familia Valverde ante tan trajica perdia q dios le tenga en la gloria y descansa en paz Angelito
Camila Vélez October 05, 2012 at 07:04 PM
God needed a personal assistant and my uncle has the perfect resume to that position. that's why he went there to heaven Porquer God intended as his personal assistant. I miss my beautiful guy in my life never ever forget you.
Luis Segovia October 05, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Yes, God need personal assistant, the little problem is that already take out two of the most better drivers so far this year. my thoughts and prayers for Angelito's family, for all my friends and road partners , please God bless all of them. PM trucking driver # 77
Jeanette Aviles October 06, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Mis más sentido pésame a la familia Valverde. Lamentamos tan terrible pérdida. Los llevaremos en nuestras oraciones y en nuestros pensamientos. Que descansé en paz Ángel Valverde. From Avilés family.
Patricia Silva October 06, 2012 at 06:09 PM
La perdida de Angelito deja un vacio muy fuerte en el corazon de todos sus conpaneros q los estimabamos y lo qqueriamos y siempre lo llevaremos en el corazon fue y sera un gran amigo nunca te olvidaremos descansa en paz ?from JMP trucking.
Joseph Castro October 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Rest in peace angel Valverde even we only talk on the phone you offer me a job and I was looking forward to work with you!!! But I went to work for Beltran Contractors!! God bless you, may god bless your family And protect us all on the road!! Mis Mas sentido pesame para la familia Valverde De Joseph Castro de BELTRAN CONTRACTORS NEWARK
FL Friends October 06, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I knew Angel only a short time. He & son were so nice to pick me up from the airport, which I appreciated so much! His wife is so lovely & sweet & beautiful. He has 2 handsome sons who I am sure will support one another together with their dear mom. We are FL neighbors & we did enjoy getting to know one another with each visit. I remember Angel's smile, how much he loved his family, & how happy he was to be in FL.  We are blessed to know Maria & sons & are looking forward to having more good times with them. May God keep them strong & touch each of their hearts with the comfort they will need in the coming days as they miss their husband & dad (in Jesus's name). We share your sadness for the loss of your dear & precious loved one & he will be missed by us as well. 
walter torres October 07, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Mis mas sentido pesame a la familia valverde por la perdida de angelito. Descanse en paz y dios lo tenga en su gloria. D i v trucking. # 9
Lynn Frey October 14, 2012 at 04:58 AM
My most heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with the man's family. My husband was killed in a truck crash just a few miles away from this spot last month. God be with you.


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