It happened around 3:30 p.m. when a van carrying 14 people overturned on the highway just south of I-195 in Hamilton Township.
"It was horrific. The people screaming, the pain," recalled a man who didn't want to be identified.
The man says he was driving several cars back from the van when it flipped Wednesday afternoon. Knowing he happened to have a fire extinguisher in his car, he didn't think twice to help when the van started to catch fire.
.@NJSP say 1 person was confirmed dead on scene after this van carrying 14 people flipped. A group of people rushed to help those inside before first responders arrived. A good samaritan describes the rush hour scene on 295 North as horrific. @6abc https://t.co/mM2t5Tqvw5 pic.twitter.com/tCelm33meq— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) September 30, 2021
"I tried to suppress the fire but there were victims in there, there were people stuck in the van," the man said.
One unidentified person died in the wreck.
Thirteen others were rushed to area hospitals; some were being treated for very serious injuries, officials said.
Chopper 6 was overhead as officers worked to clear the crash scene.
Investigators are still working to determine what caused the crash.