Contact: Kelly Vence


Public Information Office



ELIZABETH, NJ - January 24, 2012 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage provided additional information regarding the 1:45 a.m. accident this morning. The two vehicles involved in the collision were a car and a fuel tanker, which was carrying approximately 8,000 gallons of gasoline.

Mayor Bollwage stated that upon impact, the two vehicles were engulfed in flames and one fatality occurred. While the driver of the tanker escaped uninjured, the driver of the car has yet to be identified. Due to the extent of the damage, the police have not yet been able to identify the vehicle or the gender of the driver.

The Elizabeth Police Department and Elizabeth Fire Department arrived on the scene within minutes, securing the area and quickly bringing the fire under control. Precautionary measures were also taken throughout the surrounding area, including the evacuation of residents.

Assistance was provided through Union County Mutual Aid along with fire departments from Millburn, Springfield, Newark, Union and Linden, who provided additional foam to treat any hazardous materials. Representatives from the Union County Bureau of Hazardous Materials along with the Union County Department of Public Safety were also on the scene providing support and monitoring conditions.

Routes 1 & 9 from Grier Avenue in Elizabeth to Park Avenue in Linden, was closed the majority of the day to traffic in order to enable public safety personnel to conduct the investigation, ultimately remove the vehicles from the scene and ensure the integrity of the roadway. Southbound lanes have been reopened since 3:00 p.m., while only one Northbound lane is open. Bayway Circle and South Elmora Avenue will remain closed until at least 10:00 p.m. this evening, while traffic lights are being restored.

In order to maintain overall safety, the Elizabeth Fire Department is flushing out storm sewers from North to South along Route 1 & 9. Although no readings have registered, monitoring will continue by the Union County Bureau of Hazardous Materials and the Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information, please call the Public Information Office at the City of Elizabeth at 908-820-4124.