2 Killed, 4 Others Hurt In N.J. Turnpike Crash

Portion Of Southbound Turnpike Closed

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Two men were killed and four others were hurt early Friday in a five-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The accident on the eastern spur in Ridgefield forced the closure of southbound lanes for about five hours, creating major travel delays.

State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones says the accident occurred around 6:40 a.m. when a minivan apparently struck some tire debris from a tractor-trailer truck.

The minivan’s driver and a passenger, 63-year-old Samssondar Khamrhaj of New York City, then got out to check for damage. Khamrhaj was then struck by a van driven by 40-year-old Francisco Martinez of North Bergen.

Martinez then got out of his van and was apparently struck by another vehicle. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The injured were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, but details on their conditions were not disclosed.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Linda Vega

    To Robert, I had a friend who used ‘common sense as you put it’ and pulled over onto the shoulder. He was sitting in his car, waiting for help, when his car was struck by another car who was speeding trying to avoid the traffic due to the accident. He was thrown out of the vehicle (and his seatbelt was on) and killed. How do you explain that scenario ‘professional driver’? There goes your ‘common sense theory”. There is a saying that goes like this ‘don’t critize someone, unless you’ve walked in his shoes’. To Rob Stella, exactly ‘given the situation who knows what someone would do’. Do you honestly think that he would of risked his life and left his 9 year old fatherless? He did what he felt at that moment, that second, was right to try and help the person he hit. Was it a mistake? Obviously!! I’m sure you’ve made them and thankfully not to cost you your life. Sorry, to say he died because he didn’t use common sense is outright ‘cold’. He died trying to help a stranger. In my eyes, he died a hero!! And that’s who he was in life….a wonderful son, father, husband, brother and friend!! Furthermore, who knows if he had pulled off onto the shoulder as you suggested he do, if his parked vehicle would not have been struck by a truck or a car trying to avoid the accident. We won’t ever know. He is being burying today! RIP Bird…we will miss you!

    • Dominick Rivera

      Francisco was a good friend and brother! R.I.P. We will be missing you my brother! May GOD BLESS YOU IN HEAVEN!! Francisco and I grew up on 4522 Park Ave in Weehawken Damm I remember him so good he always had a kind and forgiving heart!

      Domincik Rivera Apt#18

  • Linda Vega

    Franciso Martinez was a friend and although he probably shouldn’t have left his vehicle, his initial instinct was to help the person he hit. He didn’t have anytime to ‘use common sense’, as Robert commented. He wanted to help the person he hit because that’s who he was. He had a huge heart and was a great person!!! RIP Bird…you will be missed!!

    • Robert

      “Common sense” doesn’t translate into “don’t help the person he hit.”…..your friend would probably be alive today if he’d pulled a few feet on the shoulder of the Turnpike….

    • rob stella

      Like LInda said..he was trying to help the next person, given the situation, who knows what someone would do. My heart goes out to the Bird man and his family. He was a good friend and a great guy.
      rest in peace

  • John V.

    I hate to say it, but I actually feel worse for the driver who hit the first person who had gotten out of their vehicle. Common sense should dictate that you dont stop in the middle of a highway to check for what was probably minor damage. My condolances to the families involved.

  • Carol Ann

    I was so sad to hear this story and now only our prayers can help the family members who are suffering the loss. I pray comfort for the families in Jesus’ name!

  • harry

    samsundar is my uncle he was sent here to make everyone around him a better person, I really love him.

  • JB

    Rest In Peace

  • Sam

    This is a tragic story. Heartfelt prayers for these men and their families.

    • Julio Robles

      Francisco was my brother. Thank you all for your kind words.

  • veronica

    My heart and prayer goes out to each family’s, in time god will see you and your family’s through this trying time.

  • Pedro

    Francisco was a friend and will be dearly missed. I’m sure he only got out to see what happened to the others.

  • Jerry LaForgia

    Such a tragedy particularly during the holiday season.
    A lesson to be learned to all those who exit their vehicle on any roadway,particularly a major thorofare.
    Get your vehicle off the road, at all times if possible!

  • Robert

    It’s sad that the lack of common sense cost two people their lives…if you can’t get to a safe distance from the moving traffic..DON’T GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE- WAIT FOR THE STATE POLICE.

    • Sam

      Save the lecture for the mirror, Mr. Perfect.

      • Robert

        Some things need to be said, whether you like it or not. I’m a professional driver and I see an increasing amount of risky behavior on a daily basis. It is sad that these people lost their lives, especially at Christmas time…but, their deaths were totally unnessessary and easily preventable.

  • aldous huxley

    Oh how awful. On Christmas Eve too. Prayers to those affected.

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