Truck Driver Burned After Tanker Overturns, Catches Fire on NJ Turnpike: Police

A big rig driver was severely burned Tuesday afternoon after his tanker truck overturned and burst into flames on the New Jersey Turnpike, authorities say.

The truck driver was airlifted to an area hospital after the crash near exchange 11 in Woodbridge at about 1:30 p.m., according to the New Jersey State Police. 

Chopper 4 footage from the scene showed dark plumes of smoke emanating from the crash site Tuesday afternoon. The truck, which may have been carrying gasoline, appeared to have been heavily damaged and portions of the ground nearby were ablaze. 

The flames were extinguished about 40 minutes after the crash, but 200 feet of the roadway were so badly damaged that a portion of the turnpike will need to be repaved, according to New Jersey Turnpike spokesman Tom Feeney. Crews will be working overnight and the road should reopen by 5 a.m. Wednesday. 

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All southbound lanes of the highway were shut down near the scene, causing traffic delays in the area. The car lanes have since reopened, and cars can get off at exit 11 -- but the outer car/truck lane that connects to the Garden State Parkway remains closed. 

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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