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Tree Swayed, Broke in Fatal Accident on Mt. Airy Road

Phillipsburg man, longtime employee of Bernardsville's HW Alward Construction Co., killed in random accident.

A Warren County man has been identified as the driver of a utility truck crushed by a falling tree on Mount Airy Road Thursday afternoon on Mount Airy Road in Bernards Township, police said.

Douglas McKay, 55, of Phillipsburg, was driving south along the roadway at about 3 p.m. when the large tree apparently swayed in the wind before breaking and falling on top of his vehicle, Bernards Township Police Chief Brian Bobowicz said in a release on Friday morning.

McKay, a longtime employee of HW Alward Inc., had just left the facility at 161 Mount Airy Road in Bernardsville and was alone driving a company truck, a 1999 Ford utility vehicle, the release said.

"Two motorist witnesses described seeing the tree sway during the windy conditions and fall to the roadway," Bobowicz said in the release.

"Mr. McKay was traveling southbound on Mount Airy Road in the area of No. 145 when the top trunk section of a large tree separated from its base trunk, falling perpendicular to the roadway," Bobowicz said. The tree apparently fell right on the passenger compartment, the release said.

Police responded to the scene and already found McKay was dead, the release said. He was officially pronounced deceased at the scene by paramedics from Morristown Medical Center at 3:22 p.m., the release said.

The Basking Ridge Fire Co. and First Aid Squad, along with the Liberty Corner Fire Co. and First Aid Squad, responded to the scene, and extricated the accident victim.

Along with township police, Far Hills and Bernardsville police assisted with coordinating a road closure that lasted until 6:44 p.m., Bobowicz said.

"The Bernards Township Police Department extends its condolences to the victim's family and to that of HW Alward Inc., which is a local tight-knit community based business," Bobowicz said.

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