Chain Reaction Causes Route 206 Accident, Cops Say
Only minor injuries were reported.
A Chevy Malibu caught on fire Tuesday morning after it hit another vehicle, which hit another, on Route 206 North near Commons Way, according to Bridgewater Township Officer Robert Stasiulaitis.
According to Stasiulaitis, the first car stopped on Route 206 North at 8:58 a.m., and a second car slowed down to stop behind. The third car, he said, didn't stop, which caused a chain reaction with all three on Route 206 North, heading toward Route 287.
"It is most likely they were stopping for regular traffic, it didn't seem like there was anything in particular," he said, adding that there had been a minor fender bender in the median just before the accident occurred. "There was no obstruction of traffic, but it can still be pretty crowded around 9 a.m."
But following the accident, Stasiulaitis said, the vehicle that caused the crash caught on fire.
"It gradually caught on fire, there was no explosion or anything like that," he said. "We don't know how it happened, but it was one of those things. The car was totaled."
The driver of that vehicle—Krishna Kodali, 25, of Pennsylvania—was issued a summons for careless driving, but was not treated for any injuries.
The second car—driven by Eileen Kahn, 49, of Raritan—had substantial front and rear end damage, and the airbag was deployed. Kahn, Stasiulaitis said, was taken to Somerset Medical Center to be treated for some bumps and bruises.
The first vehicle, Stasiulaitis said, had rear-end damage and was towed, while driver Kari Griffith, 46, of New York, was taken to Somerset Medical Center for back pain.
Stasiulaitis said traffic was affected for approximately one hour, but the investigation is now closed.
"It was more of a mess than really complicated," he said. "It tied up traffic."
As for the vehicle catching on fire, Stasiulaitis said, it is very rare that a car would burst into flames in this kind of accident, later tying up traffic.
"In my experience, after those cars are burnt up like that, unless it was a fatal accident, we chalk it up to unknown circumstances on why it did that," he said. "The insurance company might investigate that, and how and why."