EXIT 9, NJ—A remarkably calm driver pulled over on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike was videotaping one crash involving a tractor trailer, and ended up capturing an even more frightening wreck behind him.
"I was blocked by two trucks on south bound I-95 at exit 9 in NJ (New Brunswick exit). I only wanted to take a picture while i was awaiting for them to clear up," writes YouTube user MrLegolize.
The driver/cameraman does not scream, or even say a single word, as an even larger double-trailer vehicle loses control and barrels toward the man's vehicle at high speed.
Instead, the behemoth vehicle narrowly misses the man behind the camera, crashes through a barrier and ends up in the "cars only" section of the highway, only to be struck by another vehicle seconds later.
"Have to go. Couple more trucks behind me," says the driver before moving along past the wreck, which left at least one vehicle on fire and the tractor badly damaged.
"Once I turned off camera, I called in 911 and reported the accident. After that I came to the truck and the rest of the cars to verify they were alright," writes the videographer.
"After arrival of NJ State Trooper and his dismissal confirming that he does not require my presence, I left the scene."
State Police told reporters that they responded to more than 400 motor vehicle crashes.
The video of the crash has been repeatedly aired on television and dispersed through online media outlets, garnering 416,000 views as of this publication.
It is not immediately clear which town the crash occurred in. Exit Nine, advertised in a large road sign visible at the beginning of the video is located in East Brunswick.
The New Jersey Turnpike, which connects Edison and New Brunswick via the Basilone Bridge, only very briefly crosses through New Brunswick before Exit 9.
Many communities in Central New Jersey, including South River, Franklin, East Brunswick, and South Brunswick, used their Nixle emergency alert system to warn drivers of dangerous road conditions on Sunday and/or Monday.
But New Brunswick was not one of them.
Edison accidentally issued a boilerplate template for an emergency alert, with no specific information in it.
"National Weather Service has issued a Weather Watch Name for Municipal Location until Expiration Time. Insert all relevant weather information (can include Doppler radar reports, current weather conditions, field observations or affected traffic conditions). A weather watch indicates the potential for severe or damaging weather conditions."
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.