HOPEWELL — A driver and passenger died on Monday when their car collided with a dump truck on Route 29, closing the road for the afternoon commute.

The Mack dump truck was heading north near Fiddler's Creek Road in Hopewell Township just before 1 p.m. when it hit a Ford Crown Victoria traveling south, according to Hopewell Police Chief Lane Maloney.

The vehicles came to rest along a stone wall on the southbound shoulder and caught fire, causing a utility pole to catch fire as well, according to Maloney. The pair in the Ford were pronounced dead at the scene.

The city of Lambertville Fire District No. 1 identified one of the dead as firefighter Mark Leary Sr. on its Facebook page. Department members responded to the scene and had been unaware one of their own was involved.

"Mark was always willing to help you no matter the circumstances, and often stepped up to the plate when nobody else would. This is a very sad time for the members of Fire District 1," the department said in a Facebook post.

Leary's sons Mark Jr. and Colin are also members of the department.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash on the road near Baldpate Mountain. The utility pole fire knocked out power for a time to parts of the Titusville section of Hopewell.

Aerial footage of the scene by CBS Philly show the utility pole burned three-quarters up, and the Ford, on its side, wedged in between the truck and the stone wall.

The driver of the truck, James Bilton, 59, of Edgewater Park, was not injured in the crash. Maloney did not disclose the identities of the deceased.

State Oolice helped divert traffic away from the two lane highway, which has a posted speed limit of 45 mph, onto onto County Routes 546, 579 and 518.

The Union Fire Company, Lambertville Fire Department and Hopewell Valley Emergency Services also helped at the scene.

Maloney asked anyone who witnessed the crash to call 609-737-3100 X5320.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

 

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