NJ student killed in dump truck crash at Route 1 gas station
🔴 The crash happened on Route 1 in the area of Franklin Corner Road
🔴 The dump truck wound up in the parking lot of a gas station
🔴 The cause of the crash is under investigation
LAWRENCE (Mercer) — An 18-year-old Lawrence High School senior was killed when she was struck by a dump truck on Route 1 Thursday afternoon.
Police Chief Chris Longo said the driver of a sedan, Daijah McKithen, of Lawrenceville, was hit in the area of Bakers Basin Road and Franklin Corner Road.
The dump truck wound up in the parking lot of a Shell station on the southbound side of Route 1. Photos show damage to pumps and the small convenience store.
The chief told New Jersey 101.5 the circumstances of the crash are still under investigation.
A driver who said she was three cars behind the teenager says the sedan turned left instead of using a jughandle.
"The pink car made the illegal left after our light turned green and the dump truck was probably less than 50 feet away from the intersection when it happened and there was no way that the dump truck could stop," the witness told New Jersey 101.5.
The driver of the dump truck, Suleyman Durdu, 28, of Bordentown, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Longo.
A high school in mourning
Lawrence schools Superintendent Ross Kasun shared the news of McKithen's death in an email to the school community. Lawrence High School's commencement is scheduled for June 22.
"This tragic event has left us all deeply saddened and our thoughts and condolences go out to Daijah’s family and friends during this difficult time. Many students and staff will be affected by this news," Kasun wrote.
The school's counseling staff will be available for support Thursday until 8 p.m. and all day Friday.
Route 1 southbound was closed for much of the afternoon and remained closed as of 4:30 p.m. with a northbound rubbernecking delay.
The crash was the first fatal crash on Route 1 within Mercer County and the 10th in the entire county for the year, according to State Police statistics.