8-vehicle NJ Turnpike crash kills 5

April 25, 2009 9:39:35 PM PDT
Five people have died as a result of an 8-vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The accident caused a major backup throughout Saturday afternoon. The crash claimed the lives of five people and has sent others to area hospitals.

Authorities confirm to Action News the five people all came from the same car, Buick LeSabre.

All five of the victims, all in their 70s, were in a Buick LeSabre.

The victims have all been identified by police.

They are 78-year-old Francis Kane, 75-year-old Rose Kane, and 76-year-old Anna Kane from Kearny, New Jersey, and Jeanette and Salvatore Urbano, 72 and 74, respectively, from Passaic, New Jersey.

Click to see a slideshow of pictures from the New Jersey Turnpike from the Action Cam and Chopper 6.

Soon after police arrived, a red tarp was draped over the Buick.

Three others, all men from New York City, were injured in the accident.

The three were taken to Cooper Hospital.

Alfonzo Simmons, 56, is critical. Stephen Magee, 56, is serious, but stable. Kenneth Brown, 54, was treated and released.

According to authorities, a Freightliner tractor-trailer, driven by Dewey Tyrone Thomas, 40, of Columbus, Georgia, hit the Buick around 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, causing the car to catch fire.

The car went into the center lane and was hit by a Jeep, containing the three New York men.

The vehicles involved in the crash were the aforementioned tractor trailer, Buick LaSabre, and Jeep Cherokee, along with a Dodge Grand Caravan, Geo Prism, Hyundai Sante Fe, Honda Odyssey, and a Chevrolet Equinox.

Southbound traffic was closed between exit 7A and 4, causing a 10-mile backup for those struck behind the wreck, as a well as a 5-mile backup northbound.

Northbound traffic was intermittently stopped at the scene of the accident to allow southbound traffic to be redirected at the u-turn located at milepost 39.

The Turnpike was reopened at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Charges are pending against Thomas, the driver of the tractor-trailer.

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