New Jersey State Police yesterday identified five North Jersey residents who were killed Saturday in a fiery wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County after a tractor-trailer plowed into their car as they waited in line to exit the toll road.
Sgt. Julian Castellanos said seven cars and the truck were involved in the crash, which happened about 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes just north of Exit 4 in Mount Laurel. Three other people were seriously injured and sections of the turnpike were closed for almost five hours.
The dead were identified as Jeanette Urbano, 72, and Salvatore Urbano, 74, both of Passaic; and Anna Kane, 76, Rose Kane, 75, and Francis Kane, 78, all of Kearny.
A law enforcement source said the five were believed to have been headed to a wedding.
According to state police, a 2000 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by a Georgia man hit the back of the 2004 Buick LeSabre the five were in as the car was stopped in the right lane, waiting to exit the congested highway. The Buick burst into flames and skidded into the center lane.
Six other vehicles were involved in the chain reaction.
Three people from New York City in a Jeep Cherokee were hospitalized. Alfonzo Simmons, 56, was listed in critical condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. Stephen Magee, 56, of Queens, was listed in stable condition at Cooper. Kenneth Brown, 54, of Brooklyn, was treated and released.
A blood sample was taken from the tractor-trailer driver, Dewey Tyrone Thomas, 40, of Columbus, Ga., and results of that investigation are pending.