Body recovered after truck crashes into river near Bridgeton, New Jersey

6abc Digital Staff Image
Friday, August 11, 2023
Body recovered after truck crashes into New Jersey river
Body recovered after truck crashes into New Jersey river

FAIRFIELD TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- A body was recovered Friday morning after a truck crashed into a river in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

Police say a dump truck went into the cove of the Cohansey River along Bridgeton Fairton Road in Fairfield Township at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

Crews spent hours searching for the driver following the crash.

Police have since recovered the body of the driver, who has been identified as 60-year-old Matthew Jacobs Jr.

His cousin described him as a loyal friend, father, and grandfather.

"We enjoyed being around each other," said Larry Bryant. "If you saw him, you saw me. We were like the peas in a pod. And he was a very good person. Anytime I needed him, he was there for me."

Bryant and his brothers came to the scene in Fairfield Township to mourn. Hours earlier, Jacobs died after state police say the truck he was driving smashed through the guardrail and into the water.

"It's just hard," said Bryant.

Police say Jacobs and a female passenger had been in the dump truck. Search and rescue teams were able to get to the passenger and airlift her to Cooper University Hospital. Hours later, they found Jacobs.

"I would like to have some kind of speed bumps around here so it doesn't happen anymore," said Martha Arrizon lives next door to the cove. She says accidents happen here all the time.

"People just drive 60, 70 miles an hour and this a curve," she said. "I've had my mailbox like taken down maybe about eight or nine times since I've been here."

She built a fence behind the guardrail to protect her home. The dump truck ran it right over.

Neighbors say the road was slick from rain on Thursday night, making the stretch of road particularly dangerous.

"It's a nightmare. People are speeding right now as we speak," she said.

State police say the crash is still under investigation, including into how the truck ended up in the river.