Earlier this week a truck crashed on an exit ramp of the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The driver of the tanker truck died from massive burns after the truck caught fire.
According to text and video reports from WABC 7 New York, the truck accident happened at about 1:45 pm May 5 near Interchange 11 in Woodbridge, on a ramp from the Southbound New Jersey Turnpike truck lanes. The weather appeared to be clear and the pavement dry. A tanker truck carrying petroleum failed to properly negotiate the curve in the off ramp, appears to have jackknifed and crashed into a guardrail before tumbling into a low gully adjacent to the curve.
The truck burst into flames on impact. The driver was pulled alive at some point from the wreckage and airlifted to the hospital, only to succumb to serious burns to over 90 percent of his body the following day, Wednesday May 6. The victim – the lone occupant in the tanker – has been identified as Carlos Vinciguerra-Gomez, age 58, from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
According to news reports, the tanker was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline at the time of the crash. The flames and thick smoke could be seen for miles. Drivers and passersby have reported the fire to be so hot that the heat was palpable at a great distance and was sufficiently intense to melt a portion of asphalt on the exit ramp. Once the wreckage was cleared, workers were required to replace a section of guardrail and repave a section of the exit ramp before it could be reopened to traffic.
It is not known what caused the driver to lose control or what caused the crash in the first place. The investigation is continuing. However, according to a reporter from WABC News 7, there are warning signs posted near the entrance to the off ramp advising drivers of the sharp curve ahead and imploring them to cut their speed.
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