New Jersey (February 27, 2012) The driver of a pickup truck hauling horses was trapped in his vehicle for over two hours in a chain reaction accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mercer County. The crash occurred around 5:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike just south of Exit 7A when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the pickup truck, according to the New Jersey State Police.
Anthony Soward was driving a Dodge Ram pickup hauling a horse trailer south on the NJTP when a tractor-trailer, driven by Jon Betz, rear-ended the horse trailer. The impact forced the Dodge under the rear of a second tractor-trailer driven by Ronaldo Climaco. Soward was pinned in his vehicle for over two hours.
Rescue workers were able to free Soward and he was airlifted to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. Climaco was injured and transported to Robert Wood Johnson-Hamilton hospital. Betz was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Workers had to cut the trailer gate to free the three horses and a donkey that were trapped in the trailer. The animals were shaken and banged up, some requiring stitches but they should all be okay. The animals are currently recovering at a farm in Jobstown.
All lane of the Turnpike were closed to allow the medical helicopter to land. All southbound lanes were reopened by about 10:30 a.m.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the New Jersey State Police and no charges have been filed at this time.