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Fiery fuel tanker collision kills 1, critically injures driver

Law enforcement officials with the New Jersey state police reported that a car and two semi-trucks collided on Route 78, causing a fuel tanker to burst into flames. Reportedly, the major collision occurred on Route 78 on Dec. 6 at the Garden State Parkway ramp entrance to the highway.

Authorities allege that a 24-year-old man was driving his Audi A4 entering the westbound lanes of the highway when he pulled into the path of a fuel tanker truck being driven by a 35-year-old man. Police believe the fuel tanker was unable to avoid the Audi, crashing into it. The force of the initial collision then reportedly sent the fuel tanker careening into another passing semi-truck, and the two big rigs traveled together after the collision between them off the highway. The fuel tanker landed on the concrete barrier, spilling 9,000 gallons of fuel.

Officers reported the fuel exploded, causing both trucks to be engulfed in flames. The fuel tank driver managed to escape through his windshield but was critically injured. The other semi-truck driver was also injured and was treated and released for his injuries. The 24-year-old man driving the Audi died in the multiple vehicle collision. Emergency personnel pronounced the young man dead at the accident scene. Following the accident, motorists were stranded on the roadway for more than four hours as the burning fuel sent thick clouds of smoke and flames into the sky. A specialized firefighting air unit was called in to handle the large burning spill.

People who are seriously injured in an accident due to motorist negligence may be able to hold the individual civilly liable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the motorist is killed, the injured victim may name the motorist's estate as the defendant in the lawsuit.

Source: NJ.com, "Chatham man killed in fiery Route 78 crash, trucker critically injured", Noah Cohen and Jessica Remo, December 06, 2014

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