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3 killed in fiery crash involving adult day care van on Route 1 in South Brunswick, N.J.

Witnesses describe chilling scene after deadly N.J. crash
Witnesses describe chilling scene after deadly N.J. crash 01:26

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Three people were killed in a fiery crash on Route 1 in New Jersey Friday morning. 

Authorities said the crash happened around 9:30 a.m. on Route 1 at Ridge Road in South Brunswick.

The tractor trailer, carrying a large concrete slab, slammed into a Sprinter van. That van then smashed into two other vehicles, according to authorities. The truck and the van caught fire. 

"When officers arrived, they found two vehicles were heavily engulfed in flames," Deputy Chief Jim Ryan of the South Brunswick Police Department said. "Once the fire was put out, it was determined that there was three people in the Sprinter van. All three of those people perished in the crash."

Witnesses rushed to help, but the flames were just too intense.

"I did see a gentleman with a fire extinguisher, but the fir was too big for him to put it out," witness Janice Johnson said.

Watch Nick Caloway's report

Fiery crash on New Jersey highway kills 3 people 02:01

The victims' names haven't been released. 

The van was owned and operated by Community Options, a Princeton-based organization that provides day programs for people with disabilities. An employee of Community Options and two people with disabilities were killed. 

In a video statement, Community Options founder Robert Stack said, "We are crestfallen and deeply saddened by this horrific event."

The truck driver was hospitalized and is expected to be OK. 

Before the scene could be cleared, heavy machinery was need to move the slab and truck. 

"Then we'll be able to separate the vehicles. We'll be able to get the medical examiner's office in there. We'll be able to get more traffic investigators in there to piece together some of those parts. We have to offload the fuel from the truck. Then, when it's finally removed, we'll have to repave the road. The fire, the truck is embedded in the road," Ryan said. 

Investigators spent the day examining the mangled wreckage. By Friday evening, the concrete slab was hauled away.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4646.

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