Morning misery on Route 21

22 08 2008

PASSAIC — A three-car accident Thursday morning caused a tractor-trailer to jackknife and shut down Route 21 south and sent one man to the hospital, police said.

The crash took place around 6:30 a.m. just past Exit 10B to River Drive.

Passaic police Detective Andy White described the accident this way: Rafael Perez, 49, of Clifton was driving a Honda Pilot in the middle lane of the highway when he entered the left lane, where Hawthorne resident Michael Alberta, 26, was driving a Ford Explorer.

The Honda caused Alberta to lose control of his car, White said, which led Perez to swerve and hit the guardrail. Perez’s Honda then spun out into the right lane of the highway, where Melesio Garcia, 39, of Clifton was driving a tractor-trailer.

Garcia swerved to avoid hitting the Honda, and in doing so lost control of the vehicle. The tractor-trailer spun into the left lane and jackknifed on the median.

Perez was taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Paterson with non-life-threatening injuries, White said.

Passaic police shut down parts of Route 21 south for nearly three hours and diverted all traffic on the northbound side of the highway off at the Passaic Park exit.

Police reopened the highway around 9:30 a.m.




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