OLDMANS — The driver of the tanker truck who died when his vehicle overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike early Tuesday morning was a longtime member and Assistant Fire Chief of a volunteer fire company.

The tanker overturned onto both the inner and outer lanes around 3:50 a.m., south of Exit 9 for Route 18, creating daylong delays that stretched nearly 10 miles to Exit 10 for Route 287, according to New Jersey Fast Traffic.

The driver of the tanker, Anthony Jackson, 60, of the Pedricktown section of Oldmans, was declared dead at the scene, according to State Police spokesman Trooper Alejandro Goez. An investigation into why Jackson lost control of the tanker is ongoing, Goez said.

"It is with great sadness that the Pedricktown Fire Company announces the passing of lifelong member and mentor Anthony V. Jackson," a post on the Pedricktown Fire Company - Station 3 - LVFC Facebook page read.

"It was a pleasure knowing AJ, he will be sadly missed. He was one of the good guys taken too quick," Teresa DeSimone posted in the comment section.

"My condolences, my heart sunk when I found out what had happened. I drove right past the accident this morning I had no clue it was someone from our community. My thoughts and prayers to his family," Hector Rangel wrote.

Two of the companies that responded to the crash sent condolences. The East Brunswick Independent Fire Company sent thoughts and prayers on its Facebook page, while the Milltown Fire Department offered "sincere condolences" on its Facebook page.

The Salem County Fire Academy staff page said that Jackson was an Assistant Chief.

"We are also offering prayers and comfort for Chief Jackson's fire company family at Logan Volunteer Fire Company of Pedricktown. One never knows what a day has in store," they wrote on their Facebook page.

The tanker was finally cleared from the roadway on Tuesday evening after the 45,000 pounds of sulfuric acid he was carrying were offloaded and the guardrail fixed, according to Goez.

NJ.com was first to report Jackson's firefighting connection.

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

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