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NJ commuter nightmare: Deadly truck fire, crash closes Route 78

An overturned tractor trailer that caught fire after hitting an overpass support led to the closure of both directions of Route 78 on Thursday morning in Hunterdon County.

Route 78 was closed in both directions around 7:15 a.m. near the exit for exit No. 23 in Tewksbury after the tractor trailer struck the Route 523 overpass and caught fire from the impact, according to New Jersey State Police spokesman Lt. Brian Polite.

It appears from a preliminary investigation the truck was the only vehicle involved, according to Polite, who said the driver of the truck died. His identity was not disclosed.

The overpass struck by the truck is also being inspected.

As of 10:15 a.m., traffic was getting by on the shoulder. All westbound lanes were reopened around 9:30 a.m.

“There’s no real alternate eastbound around the closure point,” according to New Jersey Fast Traffic’s Bob Williams.

On top of that, all lanes on Route 22 eastbound West of Route 523 in Readington Township were closed for a time but have since been reopened.

Video taken of the Route 78 crash by passing commuter Saul Marques posted on his Facebook page shows a tractor trailer on its side and on fire in the early stages of the crash.

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