KEARNY — A woman had to be rescued after her car toppled a utility pole and burst into flames shortly after midnight Wednesday on Belleville Turnpike/Route 7.

Kearny police Lt. John Taylor said the driver, a 23-year-old Belleville woman,  lost control about 12:20 a.m., slammed into two utility poles bringing down a transformer which burst into flames and caused the car to catch fire.

Customers at a nearby bar and several police officers helped free the woman and drag her away from the Hyundai Elantra, according to police.  She was hospitalized at University Hospital in Newark for non-life threatening injuries, Taylor said.

One of the poles ruptured a water main causing a loss of water service, according to Taylor. About 2,000 PSE&G customers lost power because of the crash, according to News 12 New Jersey, including North Arlington High School

The driver, who was the only person in the car, was charged with reckless driving, according to Taylor, who said the cause of the crash remained under investigation. Witnesses told NBC 4 New York that the woman was aggressively trying to pass a car when she lost control.

Route 7 remained closed through the crash scene as of 12:30 p.m.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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