Bryan Matos-Gonzalez, Jansel Lopez Killed in Truck Accident on NJ Turnpike in Woolwich
Woolwich, NJ — January 15, 2023, 29-year-old Bryan Matos-Gonzalez and 24-year-old Jansel Lopez died in a crash with a tanker truck on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Authorities say the incident happened just before 4:00 p.m. on the Turnpike at Interchange 2. Preliminary investigation suggests the victims were in a van traveling north in the highway's right lane. For reasons not yet known, they collided with the rear of a big rig's tanker trailer as rig entered the northbound highway from a ramp. The van swerved off the road into a ravine, where it overturned.
Van driver Matos-Gonzalez and passenger Lopez died in the crash. No other injuries were reported.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
It seems like authorities are still trying to work out what happened here, but the preliminary details in the press sound like a truck might have cut the victims off as it entered the highway from the ramp. If so that's obviously troubling and raises further questions, but I don't want to speculate overmuch as the dots are still being connected. The most important thing is simply to get clear facts, which means considering all the possible variables: Road or weather hazards, the vehicles' speeds and conditions, what the drivers were doing in the moments before the crash, any other traffic in the area, and many other details must still be worked out.
Whether the eventual explanation for what happened on the Turnpike is simple or complex, the people who lost loved ones there deserve to know it. Anything else might depend on what is learned during a full investigation.