UNION (Union County) — A fatal crash between a box truck and a mini-van closed a portion of Route 78 Monday morning, which made for a slow commute on other roads.

State Police spokesman Lt. Ted Schafer said the driver of a mini-vab, Artak Nubaryan,44 of Brooklyn  "failed to maintain directional control" and drifted into the path of an International box truck between Routes 124 and 24 traveling in the same direction.

Nubaryan was killed in the crash while all 3 occupants of the box truck were hospitalized for minor injuries, according to Schafer, who said no charges have yet been filed.

The crash shut down the westbound express lanes near Route 124 in Union Township around 5:20 a.m., with traffic diverted onto the local lanes. The lanes reopened around 11 a.m.

The closure created westbound delays back to Newark Liberty International Airport during the morning commute . Route 24 was also backed up for several miles approaching the eastbound Garden State Parkway as traffic merged with rubberneckers.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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