Driver killed in fiery truck crash on NJ Turnpike (PHOTOS)

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. - October 3, 2012


NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson announced Wednesday night that westbound traffic on the I-195 overpass over the New Jersey Turnpike in Mercer County will be restricted to one lane for up to six weeks due to the damage caused by the crash.

The two eastbound travel lanes across the overpass will be maintained.

The crash happened on the Turnpike under the Interstate 195 overpass in Robbinsville.

Authorities say a dump truck going southbound hit the bridge abutment and burst into flames.

"Veers to the left, we have a Jersey barrier, it's a construction area, once he hits the Jersey barrier indications are the vehicle stayed alongside that barrier causing sparks. The vehicle eventually overturned and was engulfed," Major Len Abline of the New Jersey State Police said.

Some asphalt workers pulled up a water truck to try and help douse the flames, but when they heard several small explosions, a police officer waved them away from the truck.

The New Jersey State Police say the driver was killed in the crash. That driver's name has not been released.

The turnpike and 195 which crosses it were shut down to traffic while experts examined the damage to the bridge.

"The superstructure of the bridge, which is the girders on up, looking at that and seeing what damage was caused by the fire. The engineers are evaluating it and seeing how many travel lanes they can get safely on that bridge until complete repairs are made," Joe Dee of the New Jersey Department of Transportation said.

The daylong shutdown backed up traffic for miles.

"It's so backed up you can't get through. It took me about ten minutes just to get across 130," Janet Vinest of Robbinsville, New Jersey said.

All lanes fo the New Jersey Turnpike reopened by 8:00 p.m.

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