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Deadly Tractor-Trailer Crash Shuts Down Route 3 WB In Rutherford

RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) --  All westbound lanes of Route 3 in Rutherford, New Jersey were shut down for several hours Monday, following a deadly crash.

Late Monday night, one westbound lane had reopened, but the other two remained closed.

A tractor-trailer struck the Orient Way Bridge over Route 3, just west of Route 17 and the Meadowlands Sports Complex at around 2 p.m.

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Rutherford Police said the truck struck the overpass bridge, causing the container to dislodge.

Exclusive video taken by CBS2's Elise Finch showed a large container from a shipping company on top of a car under the overpass.

Police said one person in the car crushed by the container was seriously injured, CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported. The person later died, officials told CBS2.

Route 3 westbound is expected to be closed for several hours through the evening commute as emergency crews respond to the crash.

Witnesses near the accident described the magnitude of what they heard.

"It was like our air conditioner fell off the roof," said animal hospital worker Kathy Sylvester. "We all jumped up and looked around outside and then we realized what had happened. It's pretty awful. You kind of just think about what happens in life, you know. One minute you're driving to where and the next minute you're gone...I don't travel behind trucks if I can help it."

"I just saw the car underneath, the trailer crushed, and the horn just honking constantly," Michael Mazzaccaro said.

For some witnesses the accident was especially unnerving.

"It touches me real hard because I lost my daughter in a car accident 3-years-ago with a tractor trailer, so it's tough," Jesus Colon said.

Video: Serious Accident On Rt. 3 Snarls Traffic In Rutherford

Motorists should expect delays, potentially backing up to the Lincoln Tunnel, and seek alternate routes, according to the NJ DOT.

The following detour has been in place:

  • Traffic will be directed to Route 17 south, which becomes Rutherford Avenue.
  • Turn Right on Ridge Road at the traffic light
  • Turn Left onto Marginal Road
  • Take the ramp onto Route 3 westbound.

NJDOT engineers will evaluate the condition of the bridge and determine what repairs are required.

Deadly Tractor-Trailer Crash Shuts Down Route 3 WB In Rutherford

Once the scope of damage is determined, a schedule for the repair will be established.

Route 3 eastbound traffic is not affected by the closure. NJ TRANSIT bus service is also subject to delays.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

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