MOUNTAINSIDE — Two people are dead after a fiery vehicle crash on Route 22 early Sunday morning.

A vehicle "traveling at a high rate of speed" eastbound on the highway struck a tree and caught fire in the center aisle near the Department of Transportation yard, according to Mountainside police chief Joseph Giannuzzi.

Both directions of Route 22 become separated by an "aisle" in the middle at the DOT yard, which is near Parkway, Mountain Avenue and Echo Lake Park.

A female was ejected from the vehicle while a second person believed to be a male driver was trapped inside as the vehicle burned, Giannuzzi said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Giannuzzi did not publicly identify either person, pending notification of family.

Police also did not detail the type of vehicle involved.

What caused the crash remained under investigation.

Route 22 was closed in both directions near the crash site for about six hours early Sunday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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