Overturned Dump Truck

Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880

12 Hurt When Dump Truck Crashes Outside Lincoln Tunnel

July 03, 2019 - 7:20 pm

UNION CITY, N.J. (WCBS 880) — A crash involving an overturned dump truck resulted in at least 12 injures Wednesday afternoon, in addition to causing major problems at the outbound Lincoln Tunnel and disrupting New Jersey-bound bus service.

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As travelers began hitting the road for the Fourth of July weekend, a dump truck careened off an overpass onto the westbound side of Route 495, near Palisade Avenue, in Union City around 1 p.m.

Officials say five vehicles were involved in the crash and a bus. In total, 12 people were injured but all were listed in stable condition.

“I’m happy to report, and I need to stress this, there are no fatalities,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “The injured have been taken to three area hospitals.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The truck was cleared from the area shortly after 7 p.m. and the Lincoln Tunnel was reopened to all traffic.

According to WCBS 880’s Tom Kaminski, the accident began on the service road going towards the inbound Lincoln Tunnel. The dumpster seemed to lose control and careened through the 32nd Street and Palisade Avenue intersection, ending up on the opposite side of the street.

The truck left a trail of destruction and debris, showing the path it took before falling over the side of an overpass and coming to a rest on the embankment of Route 495.

Photos from the scene show the vehicle overturned, leaning against the overpass wall.

Suarez said it was fortunate that the accident occurred earlier in the day rather than later, as there were less people on the road and emergency personnel were able to arrive at the scene quickly.

“In many ways, we were lucky, we are lucky and the fact that I’m here telling you that of all the people injured, they’re all in stable condition, I’m gonna consider that a grace,” Suarez said.

Route 495 westbound has been completely shut down in the area and traffic coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel was being diverted into Hoboken Tunnel. Around 4 p.m., traffic at the outbound Lincoln Tunnel was being held with the exception of buses leaving the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Motorists were told to avoid the tunnel completely and use the George Washington Bridge or Holland Tunnel, where delays quickly built up. As WCBS 880's Kaminski reported at around 6 p.m., the outbound Holland Tunnel was subjected to 3-hour delays. 

All Jersey-bound NJ Transit bus service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal was also suspended. The agency restored limited service around 4:30 p.m.

As WCBS 880's Mike Smeltz reported, no one was being let into the bus terminal during the service suspension to avoid overcrowding at the facility. 

NJ Transit Rail, PATH, and New York Waterways were cross-honoring for bus passengers.