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Driver Dies from Horrific New Jersey Truck Accident

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Woodbridge, NJLost in the coverage of a horrific tanker truck crash that occurred earlier this week on an exit ramp off the New Jersey Turnpike was the potential for personal injury or loss of life beyond the driver of the tanker truck, who died from massive burns after the truck caught fire. There is also the potential for a design flaw in the exit ramp, which according to news reports features a sharp turn that carries warning signs advising drivers to slow down. The truck accident appears to have happened at that very curve.

Click here for video from ABC7 New York.

According to text and video reports from WABC 7 New York, the truck accident happened at about 1:45 pm May 5 near Interchange 11 in Woodbridge, on a ramp from the Southbound New Jersey Turnpike truck lanes. The weather appeared to be clear and the pavement dry. A tanker truck carrying petroleum failed to properly negotiate the curve in the off ramp, appears to have jackknifed and crashed into a guardrail before tumbling into a low gully adjacent to the curve.

The truck burst into flames on impact. The driver was pulled alive at some point from the wreckage and airlifted to the hospital, only to succumb to serious burns to over 90 percent of his body the following day, Wednesday May 6. The victim - the lone occupant in the tanker - has been identified as Carlos Vinciguerra-Gomez, age 58, from Elizabeth, New Jersey.

According to news reports, the tanker was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline at the time of the crash. The flames and thick smoke could be seen for miles as video attests. Drivers and passersby have reported the fire to be so hot that the heat was palpable at a great distance and was sufficiently intense to melt a portion of asphalt on the exit ramp. Once the wreckage was cleared, workers were required to replace a section of guardrail and repave a section of the exit ramp before it could be reopened to traffic.

It is not known what caused the driver to lose control or what caused the crash in the first place. The investigation is continuing. However, according to a reporter from WABC News 7, there are warning signs posted near the entrance to the off ramp advising drivers of the sharp curve ahead and imploring them to cut their speed.

There are various ways in which a driver could become distracted while behind the wheel: texting on a mobile device, studying a GPS or simple exhaustion. The particulars of this accident are not known. Now that the driver has died, those answers may never be known. However, assuming there were no extenuating factors identified - including mechanical failure - that could be attributable to the horrific truck accident, could a personal injury lawyer look at the overall design of the exit ramp including the sharp curve as a design flaw inappropriate for large trucks and rigs carrying a great deal of weight? And sometimes, flammable product that could be a hazard to others.

Luckily, there were no other injuries beyond the horrific burn injuries suffered by the driver. Injuries, which proved fatal.


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