At least a half-dozen vehicles, including a state police SUV, an ambulance, a dump truck, and a fire engine, were involved in a huge wreck that left just as many people, including first responders, hurt in New Jersey Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews responded en masse to Interstate 280, near exit 9, in West Orange after a call about the accident came in shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

New Jersey State Police said that troopers were outside their patrol cars investigating an earlier crash on the eastbound side of the highway when the dump truck came barreling in and hit both of them. A total of three state troopers were taken to a hospital, but all the injuries are considered to be minor, law enforcement sources said.

In addition, two West Orange firemen were injured, one seriously, as well as a number of paramedics and motorists on the scene, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell News 4.


The chain of events remains under investigation. Video from the scene showed multiple mangled vehicles. A dump truck appeared on top of a silver SUV, crushing the back of that car. The front of the truck smashed into an ambulance, which then smashed into the back of a fire truck.

A police SUV was seen half-demolished, while a yellow food truck sat unmoving in the middle of the highway. Nearby, a silver van with a ladder atop it sat spun around the wrong way in the middle of the highway, its center caved inward.

The accident scene appeared to stretch, with more damaged vehicles visible as Chopper 4 panned further down the road.

There was no immediate information on a possible cause for either accident nor were there details on any injuries to any other people at the scene. The highway appeared totally shut down in both directions in the area.

In a statement later Tuesday, Acting New Jersey Gov. Sheila Oliver said she had visited with the injured troopers in a hospital.

“Our thoughts are with the State Troopers, fire personnel, EMS professionals and pedestrians who were injured in this morning’s incident along Interstate 280 when a dump truck plowed into the site of an earlier accident,” Oliver said. “While this is an ongoing investigation, it should remind us all of the dangerous our first responders can encounter while performing their jobs on our roadways.”

Traffic from the accident was delayed for hours, with delays still present as the evening rush was under way.