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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 , 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."

n August 22, 2012 at 04:57 AM
I don't know why this is in the Basking Ridge Patch. If the author really wanted to write something relivent, how about the 3 burglaries that happen in Bridgewater over the weekend.
Linda Sadlouskos August 22, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Many people travel along Route 206 through Bridgewater, whether for commuting for work or other reasons.
n August 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
And many people travel I78 in Newark to get to work, but I wouldn't expect a travel report about it unless it was an accident that involved a resident from Basking Ridge. Now reporting about the three B&E's in Bridgewater over the weekend and a county alert about it would be of interest to the residents.
BwaterDad August 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I love the phrase "it was one of those things." It says so much, and yet so little at the same time. And then there's the wonderful day that Driver #3 had. As she's standing on the side of the road watching her car burn up beyond all recognition, the officer hands her a ticket for careless driving. As in, this day can't get any worse, and then it does. But that's what happens when you rear-end someone. If you don't have room to stop, it's because you didn't give yourself room to stop. And finally there is the officer basically saying, if nobody's dead, we're not taking a burned-up engine (or a whole car) apart piece by piece to figure out what happened. If the insurance company wants the burned-up wreckage to figure it out, here it is. I guess it makes sense.

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