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CRANBURY, N.J. – A series of crashes on an icy interstate toll road involving 40 vehicles that left one person dead and several others injured are under investigation, New Jersey State Police said Tuesday.
The accidents began on the New Jersey Turnpike just before 9:15 p.m. Monday during a mix of rain and snow flurries and below-freezing temperatures in Cranbury, a township about 40 miles southwest of New York City.
In total, there were 21 vehicles involved in multiple accidents on the inner roadway, which is reserved for cars, and 19 vehicles involved in crashes on the outer roadway, which is used by trucks and cars, state police said.
Ice was a factor in the pileups, authorities said.
Two tractor-trailers obstructed the road when they lost control in the truck lanes as they attempted to avoid earlier crashes, triggering a chain-reaction crash involving 13 vehicles in which Daryl Williams, 52, of Bordentown, New Jersey, became trapped in his car and died, state police said.
Multiple people reported injuries, but none was considered life-threatening, state police said.
The southbound car lanes reopened to traffic around 3 a.m. Tuesday, but the truck lanes did not reopen until after 8 a.m.
The accidents were under investigation and police did not issue any tickets.