NEWARK — One person is dead and another is seriously injured after a tractor-trailer on an interstate crossed the median and crashed into oncoming traffic, according to State Police.

Police said a Freightliner tractor semi-trailer was headed eastbound in the left lane on I-78 on Saturday morning. Around 6:15 a.m., the truck hit the metal barrier in the median near mile marker 57 and kept going.

A preliminary investigation showed that the Freightliner hit the concrete barrier separating the eastbound and westbound lanes, then went over that barrier, according to police.

A fatal crash on I-78 on July 16, 2022 sent smoke billowing into the sky and left charred remains. (RLS Metro Breaking News)
A fatal crash on I-78 on July 16, 2022 sent smoke billowing into the sky and left charred remains. (RLS Metro Breaking News)
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Police said that as the Freightliner went into oncoming traffic, it hit another semi-trailer. The resulting crash left both vehicles in flames, smoke pluming far into the sky. Photos showed dark clouds of smoke were visible

Authorities have identified the driver of the Freightliner as Israel Herrera Flores, 45, of Philadelphia. Flores was killed in the crash.

The driver of the other semi-trailer hit by the Freightliner was seriously injured. He has been identified as Rigo Evangelista, 42, of Reading, PA.

Three other vehicles headed westbound were caught in the crash, either by the semi-trailers or the debris.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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