Two Killed in N.J. Turnpike Accidents

Detours from the crash near Barrington led to a second one. By Barbara Boyer Inquirer Staff Writer April 6, 2011 Two related accidents on Monday left two people dead and a lengthy backup on the New Jersey Turnpike through the morning rush hour. The first accident happened about 6:15 a.m. when the driver of a southbound tractor-trailer struck a pedestrian in Barrington, said Sgt. Steve Jones, spokesman for the New Jersey State Police. The second occurred less than three hours later in the traffic jam caused by the first accident. Although it was raining, Jones said it did not appear either accident was weather-related. In the first accident, the truck driver thought he struck a deer until he pulled over and discovered the fatally injured person. Authorities said the victim, believed to be a 49-year-old man from Barrington, may have run into traffic in a suicide attempt. The victim was not identified Monday as authorities continued to investigate and notify next of kin. The name of the truck driver also was not immediately released. Lanes of the highway were closed between Exits 3 and 4, and drivers were diverted off the turnpike to I-295, causing delays throughout the morning. The highway reopened in the early afternoon. After police shut part of the turnpike, the second tractor-trailer crashed into a car in Mount Laurel, near the Maple Shade interchange, shortly before 9 a.m. The trailer flipped over the median barrier and dumped a cargo of vegetables. The truck driver, Michael A. Richardson, 49, of Trenton, was not injured, police said. The driver of the car, Chandrapith Vatsyayana, 51, of Holland, Pa., was pronounced dead shortly after the accident. Vatsyayana was on the way to work in Mount Laurel, police said.

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