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Pickup careens into farmers market; woman killed

A pickup truck drove into a farmers market in northern New Jersey near closing time Sunday, killing a woman who was dragged by the truck for blocks and injuring several others, the mayor of the borough said.

Hawthorne Mayor Richard Goldberg said the pickup truck drove through a barricade about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, struck several people and dragged the woman three blocks. Identified only as a resident of the borough, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Goldberg said two or three people hurt in the accident were treated at hospitals, but officials said their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The mayor said the man driving the pickup was taken into custody, but no charges had been filed as of Sunday night. He was being evaluated at a hospital and authorities were trying to determine how his vehicle ended up in the market.

Vendors were preparing to close for the day when the crash occurred, and officials said only a few customers were there at the time. Goldberg said the market had been scheduled to close at 2 p.m.

A vendor, Bailey Hildebrant, of Hackettstown, was injured and taken to a hospital by ambulance. She told The Record that she was hit on the right leg by a table that was knocked over by the truck. Friends followed her to the hospital and brought her back to the market after doctors put a cast on her right foot, she said.

"I really don't know why he didn't stop," the badly shaken Hildebrant said. "I got knocked over and I saw my tomatoes flying in the air."

At least three of the seven canopies still upright after closing time were damaged -- one was knocked over on its side and two others were missing support poles, the newspaper reported.

The pavement was strewn with crates, buckets and crushed tomatoes, oranges and apples.

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