MAHWAH, N.J. -- (UPDATE) Route 287 in Mahwah was reopened in both directions around 4:15 pm. Thursday following a chain-reaction crash involving at least four jackknifed tractor-trailers.
The mishap during Thursday morning's snowstorm stranded nearly three dozen other vehicles that had to be pushed or towed free while closing both sides of the highway.Route 287 in Mahwah.
Several injuries were reported, but all were minor, Police Chief James Batelli said.
Police had only just reopened southbound Route 287 after closing it for snow removal and sanding when the mishap occurred on the other side.
"The plows were doing a good job when all of a sudden w had 45 minutes where it just started to come down," Batelli told Daily Voice. "Pretty soon, it got ahead of the plows and the sanders.
"All it takes is one tractor-trailer that can't make the climb," the chief added. "Once that first one jack-knifed completely across the road, the others got involved."
Troubles were compounded as motorists tried to escape the mess.
"Cars just started backing up to get off the highway. As they did, a lot of them got stuck," Batelli said. "About 35 cars that left the roadway had to be assisted."
Police escorted EMS rigs in and out of the area, he said.
A Bergen County hazardous materials team also was summoned to address a large full spill.
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