Like ‘The Walking Dead’ — Routes 78, 80, 287 get stuck for hours
BERKELEY HEIGHTS — Jackknifed tractor trailers and fallen trees trapped drivers on Routes 78, 280 and 287 for hours on Wednesday night, and created slippery conditions that lasted through the morning commute.
Ricky Liles said he was headed from upstate New York to Virginia when he got stuck on southbound Route 287 near Ringwood Manor State Park on Wednesday afternoon for seven hours. He moved about 2 miles in four hours but didn't get moving again until 3:30 a.m.on Thursday.
"The radio was saying there were power lines down, maybe a tree down," Liles said . When he drove by, Liles said, he saw several trucks and cars that couldn't make it up a hill.
Liles said he passed the time by sleeping and listening to his iPod.
Traffic was stopped for hours on the westbound lanes of Route 78 near exit 41 in Berkeley Heights area of for more than five hours on Wednesday night, according to cinematographer Derek Mindler in a series of photos and videos on Twitter.
"Looks like the cops have the road blocked off for something. This is backed up for miles and miles. We turned the car off to save fuel. This is ridiculous. Eastbound seems to be all right. ... We still have no idea what's going on," Mindler said in a video.
John Cifelli tweeted earlier around 6:30 p.m. that drivers got stuck in the median of westbound Route 78 west of the Garden State Parkway trying to get around trailers disabled in the express and local lanes.
"I don't even know how to describe it. The Walking Dead w/o Zombies meets Mad Max with plenty of water," Cifelli wrote.
Twitter user CarlyleMotivation said she was trapped on Route 280 east for five hours on Wednesday night. She said plows were getting stuck as well.
State Police told NJ.com their Urban Search and Rescue Team used snowmobiles to get the stuck drivers off Route 78 in the Berkeley Heights area around midnight.