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2 killed in chain-reaction crash on Route 80 in New Jersey. Here's the latest.

2 killed, 2 seriously injured in multi-vehicle crash on Route 80 in New Jersey
2 killed, 2 seriously injured in multi-vehicle crash on Route 80 in New Jersey 02:56

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A deadly crash on Route 80 in New Jersey caused major delays for the Wednesday morning commute. 

Two people were killed and two others were seriously injured when police say a tractor-trailer jumped the median and crossed into oncoming traffic.

Box truck driver, passenger killed in Route 80 crash

New Jersey State Police said the crash happened shortly before 11:45 p.m. Tuesday near Exit 66 in Hackensack, sparking a huge fire and sending debris flying everywhere.

Video from the scene showed a tractor-trailer jackknifed across the roadway and a box truck burned to a pile of rubble. The impact also knocked out chunks of concrete from the center median.

Police said a Toyota SUV and Volvo tractor-trailer were both driving east on Route 80, when the Toyota hit the median and crossed into the tractor-trailer's lane, causing the truck to crash through the median and into the oncoming westbound lanes.

The tractor-trailer then collided with an Isuzu box truck, which burst into flames, and with a GMC SUV, according to police.

Police said the box truck driver was killed, along with a passenger in the vehicle. Their names have not been released.

The tractor-trailer driver and his passenger, both from Texas, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and two people in the GMC were treated for minor injuries. The driver of the Toyota also sustained minor injuries.

Traffic was backed up for hours overnight, with hundreds of drivers stranded in their cars. Eastbound delays stretched for miles during the morning rush, all the way past the Garden State Parkway.

"It was completely back up. You could see all the cars backed up. Everyone banging their horns and everything," said Alex Burgos of Hackensack.

Drivers heading east through Bergen County were told to take alternate routes, like Route 4 or Route 46.

CBS New York learned the tractor-trailer was carrying a flammable and hazardous glue, which also had to be removed from the roadway.  

Witnesses described a harrowing scene

Drivers caught in the middle of the fatal, fiery crash captured the horrifying scene on their phone cameras.

"Saw some smoke, ran by, and, you know, a lot of accidents happen here and I saw a truck on fire," Hackensack resident Tony Arias said.

Arias said he ran toward 80 when he heard what sounded like tires exploding.

"From where I was, it was just the cars and all the flames behind it," Arias said. "A couple of truck drivers were trying to see if anyone was hurt."

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