1 dead in NJ fiery tractor-trailer, SUV collision

FRANKLIN TWP., N.J. - August 1, 2012

The crash occurred on Main and Weymouth roads in Franklin Township around 8:30 p.m.

Police say it appears the SUV, driving east on Weymouth Road, ran a red flashing light and struck the tractor-trailer rig which was traveling south on Main.

The SUV, officials say, struck the tractor's fuel tank causing an explosion and then the rig jackknifed.

"We were watching TV and we heard the big crash; lights flickered and when I came out, I saw the SUV in flames, then after that, the tractor-trailer blew out," neighbor Junior Beltrain said.

Witnesses say after colliding, the vehicles struck a utility pole, pulling down wires and causing a transformer to explode.

Firefighters could not immediately put out the fire due to the downed wires and had to wait for the electric company.

It would be some time before firefighters were able to put out the intense flames being fed by the tanker's large fuel tanks which holds several hundred gallons of fuels.

By 9:30 p.m., the view of Chopper 6 showed crews had extinguished the heavy flames.

Police say it will be some time before they know the identity of the SUV driver.

Late Wednesday, they continued to interview the driver of the rig and witnesses.

Utility crews were also working to try and restore power to those customers affected by the downed wires.

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