NJ Turnpike reopened after bomb scare

January 20, 2009 8:30:04 PM PST
A bomb scare shut down a southern portion of the New Jersey Turnpike Tuesday night, tying up traffic for hours before state police determined it was not credible. State police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said troopers took a 27-year-old Massachusetts man into custody following a car stop around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes of the turnpike in Woodbury Heights about six miles south of Exit 3.

Jones said state police stopped a Black Acura with Massachusetts plates after receiving a tip from federal authorities that the driver might be armed and dangerous, and possibly carrying a bomb. Jones said the original tip came from a member of the man's family.

"Indications are this was erroneous information, albeit credible-sounding information, and at this point it seems to indicate that this was not a legitimate threat," Jones said.

Authorities initially shut down a 30-mile stretch of the turnpike in both directions from Exit 4 in Mount Laurel to its southern terminus near the Delaware Memorial Bridge. By 8 p.m. part of the road had been reopened, but a stretch between Exit 4 in Mount Laurel to Exit 2 in Woolwich remained closed while a bomb squad checked out the vehicle.

The northbound lanes of the highway were completely reopened by 9:35 p.m. and the southbound lanes by about 10:15 p.m. after the investigators completed their inspection.

Jones said FBI agents were still questioning the man - who was not charged - late Tuesday at the state police station in Moorestown.


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