YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A truck driver was using a cellphone when he caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a Hudson County man on the New Jersey Turnpike in Carlstadt, authorities said this afternoon.
New Jersey State Police, working with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, arrested 55-year-old Henry Flores of Union City yesterday and charged him with vehicular homicide and hindering his arrest.
They also gave him vehicle summonses for reckless driving and improper use of a cellular phone.
The Monday, June 9 crash, which occurred just before 5 p.m., occurred in the southbound lanes at milepost 114.6.
“Detectives have determined that Flores, who was driving a 1996 Kenworth tractor-trailer, was using a cellular phone at the time of the accident,” the NJSP said in a release.
Flores was in the left lane driving a rig registered to a North Plainfield company and failed to slow in time with traffic ahead, causing a chain-reaction crash involving several people, State Police said.
One of them, 43-year-old Jeffrey Humphrey of Harrison, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tractor-trailer continued onward, rotating and hitting cars in front, as well as another Freightliner, before ending up on its roof, stretched across three lanes.
A woman and her 2-year-old child were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with minor injuries. Three other drivers were taken to Meadowlands Medical Center. Two more refused treatment.
The entire highway was closed for more than eight hours into the night while the wreckage was cleared and authorities investigate.
“All drivers must understand that illegally talking or texting while driving can have tragic results,” Molinelli said. “For everyone’s safety on the road, distracted driving will not be tolerated by law enforcement.”
Flores was being held on $50,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Nj.com PHOTO / MUGSHOT: Courtesy NJSP
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