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SUV Flips in 5-Vehicle Accident on 287

Two tractor-trailers, two SUVs and a minivan were strewn across the highway Friday afternoon

Two Massachusetts women suffered minor injuries in a five-car accident involving one minivan, two SUVs and two tractor-trailers at the split of Routes 17 and 287 South Friday afternoon, Mahwah Police said.

The two women were driving a red Toyota minivan off the NYS Thruway South at about 12:47 p.m. Friday when they “apparently decided too late they wanted to continue driving on Route 287 South, not Route 17,” responding Officer Bill Hunt said.

The duo attempted to change lanes from the center lane, and grazed an SUV that was driving on 287 South, Hunt said. They then lost control of the minivan, hit the guardrail and hit a Toyota Rav 4 that was also on the road, causing the Toyota to flip over, Hunt said.

Two tractor-trailers driving down the roadway after the accident then crashed into the cars on each side of the road, leaving the five vehicles strewn across the highway, police said.

The two women suffered only minor injuries, and were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., via Mahwah Ambulance, Hunt said. The driver of the flipped SUV refused medical attention and no one else involved suffered any injuries, police said.

Route 287 South was closed for about an hour Friday afternoon as police and ambulance crews responded to the accident. It reopened shortly before 2 p.m.

The crash is the second on 287 in Mahwah to make headlines this week. Earlier in the week, a double tractor-trailer crash left one driver in critical condition.

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melissa lewis January 18, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Go to the next exit!!! why do people have to cut across lanes of traffic and put innocent lives at risk
fastharry January 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM
My dad , while I was growing up in the sixties no less, taught me when I was 8, to drive like everyone on the road is an idiot... I always follow that advice....The driver who crossed the lanes was an idiot...but I bet there is a chance that the people who got hit were not driving defensively either... Not that it could have been avoided...but you never know...
Robin Dix January 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM
That was my daughter. Sometimes people make last minute decisions out of panic. Don't judge.
Robin Dix January 19, 2013 at 03:16 PM
That idiot was my 19 year old daughter driving in an unfamiliar place. She knows to drive defensively but made a costly last minute decision.
CaraGia January 19, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Seriously, that area of 287 is a major traffic hazard. You can't possibly tell me that plans to reconfigure this area for the planned mall could possibly be any worse, increased traffic or not.
Hank January 19, 2013 at 04:24 PM
on the other hand my son drives that stretch every day so I can judge It was a bonehead move but if you put a camera at that junction you will see that same bonehead move performed by busses,trucks and cars all day and night It's a confusing interchange
James Hunt Cpt. January 19, 2013 at 06:06 PM
To Officer Hunt: Thank you to you, and all of the responding professionals for taking such good care of our children in their time of need. Your kindness, compassion, and professionalism is to be commended and is greatly appreciated. James Hunt Captain Lee fire Rescue Lee, MA
Joey Bourgholtzer January 19, 2013 at 07:05 PM
This fast-moving and confusing (esp to nonlocals) stretch is one of the things that makes a mall at Crossroads such a bad idea. Fortunately (and amazingly, with the number of vehicles involved, including the 2 tractor trailers) the outcome wasn't much worse. This vehicle is one of the MANY that realize too late that they've missed the fork for 287 S and swerve across lanes trying to recoup. The combination of interstate highways, speeding traffic, and confusing roadway with too many vehicles changing lanes at the last minute make this area dangerous. The number of tractor trailers travelling this area compound the problem, as they did in this accident. Fast-moving traffic behind an sudden accident spread across several lanes has a huge likelihood of becoming part of the accident. Increased mall traffic bringing nonlocals from the north should be cause for the Crossroads "traffic expert" to consider the safety of their project. Yet the overriding method of this developer is to do the very minimum required by the letter of the law. The result is that Mahwah will be left with the aftermath. Bottom line: Expect more congestion, more frequent and more severe accidents with a high potential for loss of life, more highway closures, more standstills on our secondary roads.
fastharry January 19, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Well, I hope your daughter is OK....As far as me judging?....Ask the people that suffered carnage what they think....
Macy January 19, 2013 at 08:20 PM
And yet they want to build the area up more. tThis roadway is dangerous on a good day, now add bad weather, or construction and more traffic to a new mall and we will see types of accidents each day!
07430 January 19, 2013 at 09:51 PM
I passed the accident right after it happened and was sure someone had died. I'm very grateful to hear that there was no death. AND.....couldn't believe to hear that the flipped car refused medical attention!
Connor Hunt January 20, 2013 at 01:45 PM
I was the passenger in the van... One of the Massachusetts "duo." I am disgusted at the reactions of those who have so little heart that they may call a distraught, shaken girl, who had never driven this stretch of highway, an "idiot." To those who stopped to help us and to console us - I cannot thank you enough. To Kathleen in particular - Thank you for delaying your plans and staying to calm us... It was truly a blessing to have a mothering figure at this time to hold us and guide us through. Thank you dad for acknowledging the officers and emergency crews (above) and for dealing with my mess of a self in this time of chaos. Thank you to the medics and officers for responding in an amazing, comforting manner. Thank you everyone involved for being okay. And thank you to whoever, or whatever, was looking out for us... We realize how bad this could have been, and how lucky we are.
Hank January 20, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Time out Connor The driver not only caused damage to the vehicles, the drivers action closed down a major east coast interstate highway. Thousands of people were delayed and I could not even guess how much money was lost due to missed appointments deliveries etc. I am sorry if the driver is injured or "distraught" but I have no sympathy for a driver who just decides to cross over traffic without looking.
Chopped Meet January 21, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Fast Harry that was good advice from your dad and you're right this driver is an idiot, because it was all about her having to get off right then and there and not going to the next exit.
Chopped Meet January 21, 2013 at 03:31 AM
The driver should be issued a summons for unsafe lane change and or careless driving if they weren't already. All the mamby pamby nonsense about being unfamilar with the road should not mitigate safe driving and the rules of the road. This could have caused serious injury or death. Yes we all make mistakes but we must be held accountable for our actions. You can be rest assured the insurance company won't say awww poor baby didn't know the road. I am glad you're all OK, but wise up.
Westpoint1 January 22, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I don’t know your daughter and name calling doesn’t solve anything. But her actions could have seriously injured and/ or killed someone. I drive up and down this stretch of highway daily from NYS to NJ. My husband drives this way daily. Many times I have my children with me. I hope your daughter was shaken deeply by this incident. I hope she takes away from this experience that she could have easily killed/seriously injured herself or someone else‘s child, husband, parent, etc. Driving in an unfamiliar place is no excuse. And what if she had just cut someone off and did not cause an accident, but pissed someone off enough to ride her tail and follow her? I see drivers doing this all the time. The bottom line is what she did, while it was a mistake, was completely irresponsible and as a young driver, I hope this experience teaches her to drive with more caution in the future. In general, I am so sick of reckless, inpatient, aggressive, oblivious, inconsiderate drivers. Not a care for anyone else on the road.
John Marston January 24, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Who gives these people their drivers license... I think they are distributed in cracker jack boxes now a days

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