A truck crash occurred early this morning on I-287 in Bernards Township, New Jersey, which killed the truck driver and resulted in a fire that consumed the truck. According to the news report, the double tractor-trailer struck the sound barrier wall and then caught fire. Another vehicle was involved, possibly a SUV, but police only indicated it was a passenger vehicle.
The truck driver was the only fatality of this truck accident. The driver of the other vehicle was reportedly unhurt. The crash and fire occurred early this morning and caused a shutdown of the interstate for six hours, which finally reopened by 8:00 am.
The truck accident investigation was ongoing, and the news report did not indicate a potential cause for the crash. Given the time of the day, shortly before 2:00 am, a possible factor could have been truck driver fatigue.
Accidents that occur late at night or during the early morning hours always raise the suspicion of driver fatigue. While truck drivers are supposed to adhere to strict limits in the number of hours they drive per day and on a weekly basis, the rules are often flouted as shippers push drivers to make tighter delivery deadline.
Other potential causes will include mechanical failures related to the wheels, steering and brake systems of the truck. Additionally, the accident could have been caused by some other vehicle suddenly changing lanes or braking, which may have forced the driver to take evasive action leading to loss of control.
Drug and alcohol use are also potential causes in an accident like this. Truck accidents are always complex to investigate, and it may be some time before the New Jersey State Police complete their report on this tragic incident.
Source: NJ.com, “Fatal truck, passenger vehicle crash shuts Interstate 287 North in Bernards Township, N.J., for hours, authorities report – UPDATE,” Tony Rhodin, The Express-Times, August 7, 2014