NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A dump truck fell through the concrete at a parking garage in North Bergen Wednesday.

It happened around noon at the Tonnelle Center at 81st Street and Tonnelle Avenue.

Officials say the truck weighed more than 10 times the weight limit for the structure.

(credit: CBS2)

Video from the scene shows the truck standing on its end. It plunged through the top level into the level below.

Witnesses told CBS2’s Jessica Moore about the chaos that erupted around 12:30 p.m. when the parking garage appeared to fold into itself.

“I said wow, that’s a big truck right there,” said witness Sergio Samaiego.

“It’s scary because the police were screaming ‘get out, get out,'” said witness Nicole Bianco.

It all started with a minor fender-bender, Moore reported. Police say the driver of the dump truck went across the street to exchange information when his truck suddenly collapsed backward through the parking structure.

Because it collapsed backward, the driver was able to crawl out of the window unharmed.

Off-camera, the driver of the 40 ton, fully loaded dump truck told CBS2 he didn’t see the signs at the entrance to the parking deck marked “no trucks,” and posting a three ton weight limit.

Though the driver will likely face charges, police say he actually got off easy.

“The driver, by the way, was not injured. Not a scratch on him. In fact, no one was hurt, which is remarkable because the dump truck came to rest about 20 feet from the entrance to Chuck E. Cheese and a gym that was packed with people working out,” said Chief Robert Dowd of the North Bergen Police.

With the mall evacuated, state, county and local crews are all focused on removing the truck, wedged tightly through the 3-story garage. The effort is expected to take hours.

Police say no other vehicles in the parking garage were damaged, and the mall will be closed until city engineers ensure the garage is safe and structurally sound.


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