A fiery crash killed three people and injured four others on Interstate 280 in East Orange. The accident involved a tractor-trailer truck that was hauling garbage and five other passenger vehicles. It happened at about 10:30 a.m. on August 27 in the eastbound lanes.
Near exit 12 for Garden State Parkway, the 65-year-old male driver of the truck lost control of the commercial vehicle and hit the other vehicles. Among these vehicles, a Honda took most of the impact and caught fire. The three people in it became trapped and died on the scene. The truck driver, who works for Direct Waste Services, was hospitalized in the area. Also injured in the truck accident were a woman and two kids in another vehicle.
Hours after the crash, police were still trying to determine what happened. They were considering speed, mechanical error and driver error as possible factors. Witnesses told reporters how some people tried to help the victims in the Honda escape the flames, but the heat kept them away.
Traffic accidents on highways that involve commercial vehicles are likely to cause severe and fatal injuries because of the speed and weight of the trucks. The surviving spouses and descendants of people who are killed in such collisions could be entitled to recover damages. This might include funeral expenses and the cost of medical aid if the decedents were hospitalized before they died. The survivors could also be compensated for the loss of the decedents' income. Additionally, a jury may award damages as they deem fair based on the pecuniary damages.
Source: New Jersey Legislature, 'Title 2A: Chapter 31 - Section 5"
Source: CBS New York, "3 Killed In Crash Involving Tractor-Trailer, Several Vehicles On I-280 In East Orange", August 27, 2014