A car traveling southbound on the Garden State Parkway early this morning was involved in a firey crash that took the life of one person, seriously injured another, and shut down the parkway for hours.
The accident happened at approximately 1:11 am, when a motorist struck a guard rail on the left hand part of the Parkway near Exit 127 in the area. The crash into the guard rail caused the vehicle to flip over, ejecting the two occupants, said NJ State Police Trooper Christopher Kay.
The overturned vehicle, a 1998 Dodge Intrepid, then slid into the northbound lanes and burst into flames, Kay said. Only one vehicle was involved in the accident.
Leon Roberts, 43, of Passaic, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other victim, John Flannery, 29, of Newark, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick by the Woodbridge Township Ambulance and Rescue Squad. Raritan Bay Medical Center's EMS unit also treated the injured at the scene.
Flannery was admitted in critical condition, Kay said. It's unknown at this time which of the victims was driving the vehicle.
The accident caused NJ State Troopers to close off the northbound lanes of the roadway. Motorists traveling north were diverted by state police to Exit 127 in .
The Parkway's northbound lanes were closed for approximately four hours, Kay said. The closing caused traffic backups for the morning rush hour in the Woodbridge area.
Kay said the accident is being investigated by the state police's fatal accident investigation unit and crime scene unit.
He added that the fire was extinguished by Sayreville, Keasbey, and Hopelawn fire departments.