UNION TOWNSHIP (Hunterdon) — A crash on Route 78 in Hunterdon County Thursday night between a tractor-trailer and a car left one person dead.

New Jersey State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez said the Mack truck and an Acura RSX sedan collided in the eastbound lanes, went into the center median and hit the guardrail near Exit 13 for Route 173 around 8:10 p.m.

The truck overturned and partially opened up after landing on its side.  Video from the crash scene posted on the Fire & EMS Alerts Of Hunterdon & Warren County NJ Facebook page shows debris from the tractor's load strewn in the center median. The guardrail appeared to be heavily damaged by the crash.

Two Virginia men involved in the crash

Adan Loya-Rodriguez, 51, of Waynesboro, Virginia, the driver of the truck, died in the crash, according to Goez. The 21-year-old driver of the Midlothian, Virginia, was airlifted from the crash scene via medical helicopter.

Two of three eastbound lanes were closed for over 12 hours causing delays of over 7 miles during the Friday morning commute.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by State Police. No charges have been filed.

The crash is the third fatality of the year on Route 78 and the first in Hunterdon County, according to State Police.

Debris from a fatal crash on Route 78 in Union Township (Hunterdon) 5/26/22
Debris from a fatal crash on Route 78 in Union Township (Hunterdon) 5/26/22 (@Reggie_Harrison via Twitter)

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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