Driver rescued from water after tractor trailer crash on New Jersey Turnpike

nj turnpike accident

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


A truck driver was rescued Tuesday morning after his tractor-trailer crashed and caught fire on the New Jersey Turnpike in Ridgefield Park.

The accident happened at about 5:35 a.m. just north of the Vince Lombardi service area, where the vehicle went out of control and crashed through a guardrail.

The driver's seat belt caught on fire, but he was able to jump out of the cab, 20 feet into Overpeck Creek.

Three state troopers were able to pull the driver, identified as 66-year-old Lawrence Scherf, of Vails Gate, from the water. He was airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center and is listed in critical condition.

He was reportedly driving for National Freight, Inc. out of Lebanon, Indiana.

"We had a

report of a tractor-trailer crashing into an embankment and the driver was stuck in the water," one of the troopers said. "We threw a life preserver in to pull the driver close to the wall. The driver was severely burned and traumatized."

They pulled him away a safe distance from the dangling cab, which was twisted and separated from the truck's chassis. 65% of the driver's body was burned.

The northbound inner roadway of I-95 heading to Route 80 West was shut down for hours after the crash, causing major delays on the Turnpike.









The state troopers who rescued the driver were treated at a hospital for precautionary reasons.


Category: Accident

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