October 26, 2022
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – Traffic along Route 1 was reduced to a crawl in both directions for several hours today after a traffic collision involving a dump truck and a sport utility vehicle took place in the area of Quaker Bridge Mall. As traffic backed up and ground to a near standstill, several secondary accidents occurred along Route 1 in Lawrence and West Windsor that added to the traffic nightmare.
The initial accident occurred about 3:10 p.m. along the southbound side of Route 1 just prior to the Kelly Viaduct (the overpass linking Route 1 South with Quaker Bridge Mall). During the crash, the dump truck reportedly struck the Jersey barrier that separates the southbound lanes of Route 1 from the northbound lanes. That impact tore down several lengths of chain link fence that sit atop the barrier and punched several holes in the barrier itself, sending chucks of concrete and other debris scattering into the northbound lanes. The dump truck and SUV then came to rest near the Kelly Viaduct ramps.
The driver of the SUV reportedly complained of pain following the crash but declined medical aide. The dump truck’s saddle fuel tank was ruptured at some point in the crash and started to leak diesel fuel onto the roadway. Lawrence Township firefighters were called out to try to contain the diesel fuel as it spilled and prevent it from running into a nearby storm drain. The tank reportedly contained as much as 70 gallons of fuel. A large portion of that amount reportedly spilled onto the roadway. Firefighters used absorbent pads, booms and other materials to build a berm around the storm drain to keep the spilled fuel from flowing into the drain and any local waterways that might be connected to the drain.
A New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection response team and the hazardous materials task force from the Trenton Fire Department were later called out to help contain and cleanup the diesel and minimize any potential impact from the spill. A heavy-duty tow truck was used to remove the wrecked dump truck. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Lawrence Township police.
NJDOT was also on scene assisting with traffic control, lane closures and debris cleanup.
Lawrence Township NIXLE Alert: Major Crash Route 1 in the area of Quakerbridge Mall.
Avoid Route 1 in the area of Quakerbridge Mall due to a motor vehicle crash with much debris on the roadway. Major delays in both directions.
Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene for the hazardous material incident. Firefighters used booms, oil absorbent and pads to help keep additional fuel from spilling into the waterway.