OLD BRIDGE, N.J. - Three people were killed Tuesday in a horrific crash on Route 9 North in Old Bridge, New Jersey.
CBS New York reports the accident left cars mangled in a horrific and chaotic scene.
Police said a 45-year-old man from Howell was headed south on Route 9 near Route 516 in a Ford Escape just before 12:30 p.m., when he crossed into the northbound lanes for an unknown reason. The Ford struck a Honda Accord in the northbound lane.
The man driving the Escape and the 37-year-old woman from Freehold who was driving the Accord were pronounced dead. A passenger in the Honda was also killed, police said.
Two other passengers in the hospital were rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with unknown injuries.
"It was 12:30 and it was a big boom, and then it's a lot of smoke," said Manju Singh.
Singh works nearby, and she ran out with a rod to help smash one of the car windows open - so as to get to the driver of one of the vehicles involved the crash.
"The car was spinning and then I rushed to there," Singh said.
Several people rushed out of other businesses.
"We heard a big bam and then we came out, and there was like two cars -- one side and the other side. It was like really sad," said Angela Bonett, who works nearby. "And then we saw the fire trucks and somebody cutting the car, and then they pulled somebody out. So it was really, really sad."
Route 9 North in Old Bridge was shut down for hours Tuesday afternoon as people watched in horror.
"I've been living here for 20 years, and this is not the first one I've seen. I've seen about four or five right in this direct area too," said Ryan Besecker of Manalapan. "They need a guardrail over here. That's what they need."