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Old 27th May 2007, 11:46   #1
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Default New Jersey Tollstation Crash-and-Burn incident

New Jersey's Garden State Parkway is a 280 km tolled expressway that runs all through New Jersey from Chestnut Ridge NY to Cape May at the southmost tip of New Jersey.

Close to the southern end, barely a km south of the Somers Pt. Golf course, at Great Egg Harbor toll plaza, a white 1998 Ford Escort crashed into the tollstation at 104 km/h and burst into flames, burning itself, its driver and the tollstation.

The driver, 52-year old Bernard King hit the concrete divider between toll booth lanes and died on the spot.

This happened about 16 days ago, on Thu. 10th May 2007 morning 8:30 am on a clear, dry, empty expressway.

In India, as in, on the Expressway, the tollstation attendants would have been burned too. New Jersey has unmanned tollstations where you throw coins or carry a contactless SmartCard, so the tollstations, car and driver were consumed by the blaze.

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The entire incident was captured on New Jersey Turnpike Authority video surveillance camera. Some web-user got a hold of the video and posted it on YouTube.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) sued Youtube.com and LiveLink.com and Break.com for showing the video of the car crash. Even WMGM-TV 40 aired the video.

NJTA's position: that the video was shot on a NJTA camera, so property of the NJTA. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), they requested websites to take down the video, claiming in the lawsuit that displaying the footage on the Web is a violation of copyright laws!
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Old 27th May 2007, 12:15   #2
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saw this on tv, did the driver fall asleep or was he just suicidal?? he drove right into the toll booth instead of going between them, surprising how the car caught fire after 2-3 secs of hitting the booth.
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Old 27th May 2007, 12:35   #3
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The driver, 52-year old Bernard King hit the concrete divider between toll booth lanes and died on the spot.

This happened about 16 days ago, on Thu. 10th May 2007 morning 8:30 am on a clear, dry, empty expressway.

In India, as in, on the Expressway, the tollstation attendants would have been burned too. New Jersey has unmanned tollstations where you throw coins or carry a contactless SmartCard, so the tollstations, car and driver were consumed by the blaze.

Video
The entire incident was captured on New Jersey Turnpike Authority video surveillance camera. Some web-user got a hold of the video and posted it on YouTube.
Well ram i dont know if its right to say that if this accident would have happened in India, the toll attendant would have died too. A few years ago on the morning of 31st december, in a similar case, a friend of mine with his entire family (four + driver) crashed in the divider in an identical manner between two lanes on the Mumbai Pune expressway, just before the exit toll to Poona. The driver fell asleep on the wheel in broad daylight and the Ikon was speeding too. There was no chance of braking as the driver and all occupants were asleep. The medical assistance they got was prompt as there is always an ambulance parked at the toll booths and the hospital (somewhere in Pimpri) was absolutely equipped with all sorts of equippment they need. Five patients were admitted two in critical condition and one remained in coma for 12 days (the driver). Thank God all are alive now and doing well, which is not the case in the US accident. Of couse the situations differ from accident to accident. I do not know if there is cctv monitoring on these booths but I hope there is. Sad tough true re the US accident.

Also not all toll stations in the NJ andthe other states in the US are unmanned anymore, with the exception of very few ones. There are always lanes for persons who want to pay cash now. I have been travelling extensively in the US from the last 25 years and even just a few weeks ago. I find a change in the whole system. Most toll stations are now manned, something which was quite the opposite many years ago and that too by a lot by senior citizens. Also the exact change lanes are manned now a days. Maybe this has been done to create employment for senior citizens

Last edited by V-16 : 27th May 2007 at 12:37.
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Old 28th May 2007, 06:14   #4
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Well ram i dont know if its right to say that if this accident would have happened in India, the toll attendant would have died too.
You should have seen the video.

On a peaceful morning at 08:30 the car hit the tollbooth at 104 km/h.
Within no more than 30 seconds, the 12 feet high, 10 feet wide, 20 feet deep flames burned up the car, driver and toll booth completely. The thick black smoke went up hundred feet in the clear New Jersey air.
The charred corpse could be identified only by his dental records.

Video - Car crashes into toll booth and explodes - ToxicJunction.com
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Old 28th May 2007, 18:26   #5
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NJTA's position: that the video was shot on a NJTA camera, so property of the NJTA. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), they requested websites to take down the video, claiming in the lawsuit that displaying the footage on the Web is a violation of copyright laws!
The sicko's at NJTA probably wanted to sell the footage to the chaps who make stuff like World's most amazing car crash videos / World's most amazing Police car chase.
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Old 29th May 2007, 11:17   #6
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Did anyone notice how some of the other people continued on their journey without even bothering to check what happened??!!

The cops did move in really fast. Guess they must have cops stationed around the toll areas.
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Old 29th May 2007, 12:54   #7
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Did anyone notice how some of the other people continued on their journey without even bothering to check what happened??!!
Your question, set me thinking. The world has all kinds of people.

One kind, invariably set out behind schedule and keep rushing to some event/meeting/show/deadline or the other. They don't factor-in any time for unscheduled eventualities. This eventually will show up as apathy towards a victim of misfortune lying ignored on the roadside.

A second kind is the pompous kind, driven only by their own ego, their own id. "अपने बापका क्या जाता है?"! Gross apathy towards anything outside their own gain or immediate affiliation.

A third kind, lazily meander through life with lots of time on their hands, poking their noses into any and everybody's business, affairs, quarrels and misfortunes, but generally for their personal entertainment.

Then there are the good samaritans who care and stop to render assistance -- milk of human kindness stuff ! They improve the quality of life for everyone whose lives they touch.
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Old 29th May 2007, 13:00   #8
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The cops did move in really fast. Guess they must have cops stationed around the toll areas.
Don't we wistfully wish,
that our own support services: police, fire brigade and mobile medical aid were as instant, immediate and efficient, here in our own motherland, too?
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Old 29th May 2007, 13:23   #9
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Don't we wistfully wish,
that our own support services: police, fire brigade and mobile medical aid were as instant, immediate and efficient, here in our own motherland, too?
Very much. I keep lamenting over the scene here compared to what i had seen in Dubai where i grew up.
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Old 29th May 2007, 13:27   #10
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Did anyone notice how some of the other people continued on their journey without even bothering to check what happened??!!

The cops did move in really fast. Guess they must have cops stationed around the toll areas.
Once the police move in they will clear off the curious onlookers as they would be a hindrance and may tamper with the evidence. On an Expressway stopping is even more undesirable for obvious reasons. Of course if there was no police around that would justify stopping to see if there were any survivors who needed help.
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Old 29th May 2007, 14:54   #11
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If i remember right, there was an SUV which whizzed by even before the cops came in. Chances are also such that they knew the cops were coming, and so didnt stop?
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Old 29th May 2007, 15:07   #12
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Did anyone notice how some of the other people continued on their journey without even bothering to check what happened??!!
As somebody who has travelled in this highway thousands of times, I have to disagree. The response time for cops on this road is practically 5 minutes even in case of break down, let alone a major incident like this. They can immediately call for the right people to come in and help out. Therefore it is normal practice for people to just move along leaving the experts to deal with any emergency. In fact they don't like untrained civilians to get involved and mess around. There are law suits to be considered. Say you try to pull somebody out unsuccessfully, then you will get sued by the victim or their kin for damages.

I had a flat tire once and the very first cop turned up in 5 minutes. But I had already walked off towards a phone I saw 200 meters away. I had spare tire, but jack was missing. By the time the mobile mechanic arrived in 30 minutes, two other passing cop cars had checked on the status. By those standards, driving in Indian highways is really an adventure. We are practically on our own.
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