A tractor-trailer ignited a blaze in Hasbrouck Heights early on a Saturday morning, after careening into an office building along Route 17. The crash killed the driver and sent flames up several stories high.
According to Hasbrouck Heights’ Fire Chief, the truck slammed into the building’s north side, which was located along the intersection of Route 17 South and Williams Ave.
Nearby residents cited that the impact of the explosion rocked the neighborhood, and that the explosion occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m.
A retired firefighter from Hasbrouck Heights, who lived directly across the office building with his wife, recounted that they heard an initial “boom,” and then heard another “boom” about 10 seconds later. After running outside, the couple saw the smoke coming up.
The fire chief states that the driver was dead by the time the emergency crew arrived. The cause of the collision is unknown, and the police continue to conduct an investigation. Witnesses state, however, that the truck was seen swerving before it drove off the road.
Located at 500 Rt. 17 South, the building borders a residential neighborhood at the intersection of Williams Ave. and Hasbrouck Ave. Since the crash occurred on a weekend, the building was unoccupied. Among the building’s tenants is OSHA or the Occupational Safety Health Administration.
The fire chief also states that since the building sprinkler system worked the way it was designed to, the fire was mostly contained to the building’s north side.
Authorities tried to contact the trucking company, as they were not sure of what the truck was carrying. Truck details indicated that it belonged to an expedited carrying company known as Land Air Express.
The flames rose up several stories high, and may have been accelerated due to chemicals that were possibly in the crash. Although it is not yet clear if any dangerous chemicals or substances were released in the crash, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Bergen County HazMat continue to investigate this matter.
Trucks from Hasbrouck Heights, Garfield, Moonachie, Caristadt, Lodi, Teaneck, Wood-Ridge, and Wallington were seen on the scene of the crash.
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If you or a loved one is from the state of New Jersey and is involved or injured in a motor vehicle accident, immediately seek legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer from the Grossman Law Firm. A capable attorney should be able determine your right to file a claim and help you recover financial damages.