NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At least three people were killed and several others wounded in a multi-vehicle crash in the Bronx early Tuesday morning, authorities say.
According to NYPD Highway District commanding officer Steven D’Ulisse, an 18-wheeler was stopped in traffic in the middle lane of the Cross Bronx Expressway near Webster Avenue at around 5:45 a.m. when a second 18-wheeler failed to stop and caused a chain collision, hitting the truck and a Ford pick-up truck that had stopped behind it.
A third Toyota Corolla was also hit.
“The Corolla ended up being lodged on top of the center divider of the highway,” U’lisse said. “The Ford pick-up truck was wedged underneath the second tractor-trailer. ”
The early morning crash caused massive delays for hours, stretching for miles on I-95 north coming off of the New Jersey Turnpike, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
The Cross Bronx Expressway has since reopened.
Police said three out of the five passengers in the pick-up — all men — were pronounced dead on the scene, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported. Two others in the pick-up truck, along with a third victim in the Toyota Corolla and two passengers in the second tractor-trailer were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital for treatment.
Two of the deceased victims have been identified as 51-year-old Henry Walker of Livingston, New Jersey and 21-year-old Khalil J. White of Tobbyhanna, Pennsylvania.
The identity of a deceased 58-year-old male is being withheld pending family notification.
CBS2 spoke with Ernesto Cabrera, the driver of the second tractor-trailer, from his hospital bed. Cabrera and his brother were in the truck on the way to make a delivery, and made it out of the crash with only a few scratches.
“I slammed on my brakes but it was a slick road,” Cabrera said. “There wasn’t enough space between us, there was nothing I could do.”
The driver of the first 18-wheeler was not injured, police said.
“I feel lucky to be alive,” Cabrera added.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, pending family notification.
Investigators were on the scene through Monday morning. According to authorities, all the drivers involved in the crash have clean licenses and there was no evidence of alcohol in their systems.
Carbrera believes there could be a third driver that got away from the scene.
“They said they would try to get to him by camera cause they might be able to see the plates, but the original guy who slammed on the brakes fled and kept going,” Cabrera said.
Police said a mix of traffic, weather, and speed may have caused the crash, but the accident remains under investigation.