BRIDGEWATER — Dramatic bodycam footage shows two State Police troopers pulling the driver out of a tractor trailer on Route 287 as it exploded on Monday afternoon.

State Police said the truck, which was hauling a load of wood pallets in the northbound express lanes, caught fire after hitting a guardrail and then an overpass support pillar about 3:35 p.m.

The footage shows Trooper Robert Tarleton conducting a traffic stop on Route 287 when he heard a loud crash. He quickly ended the stop, ran to his car and drove toward the truck.

The video shows Tarleton running to the truck, which had already caught fire. State Police Lt. Edward Ryer, who was on his way home from work, was already trying to get the driver out of the cab.

As the truck exploded, the two dragged the driver, a 63-year-old man, out of the cab and away from the truck. The driver was taken to Morristown Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

The northbound local and express lanes were closed for several hours and local roads became bogged down in traffic as the pallets were offloaded.

State Police said the cause of the crash remained under investigation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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