Authorities: 4 killed, 8 injured when van carrying workers overturns

Authorities say a passenger van carrying several warehouse workers overturned on the Palisades Parkway in northern New Jersey, killing four people and injuring eight others.

News 12 Staff

Sep 2, 2022, 9:56 AM

Updated 624 days ago

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Authorities say a passenger van carrying several warehouse workers overturned on the Palisades Parkway in northern New Jersey, killing four people and injuring eight others.
The crash happened around 1:25 a.m. Friday in Englewood Cliffs. Authorities say the van ended up in the center median of the southbound lanes of the highway, leaving the driver and all the passengers trapped inside the vehicle. The four people killed were pronounced dead at the scene, while the injured people were being treated at hospitals.
A relative of two of the victims tell News 12 that the driver of the van suffered a medical issue – possibly an asthma attack – while behind the wheel. The driver lost control and crashed.
One of the victims Clara Estrella Florez.
“She was a beautiful person. She came over here to have a better life,” says Florez’s cousin Natalie Paulino.
Paulino says that Florez had arrived from the Dominican Republic four months ago.
Florez and another relative worked for a temp agency called On Target Staffing. They had been working at a factory in New York state and were on their way home. That other relative is being treated at Hackensack Medical Center.
"This bus always has a problem. They're supposed to get home at 11 p.m., sometimes they get home at 4 a.m. because the bus runs out of gas or they get lost. It's always something with this bus,” says Paulino.
News 12 saw the van after it was towed away. The front end was smashed, and the roof had to be torn open by firefighters who worked to pull the passengers out.
Authorities say everyone in the van was from New York City, but their names and further details about them have not been released. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Some of the victims worked for Party City’s Chester distribution center in Orange County, New York.
A spokesperson for Party City said in a statement, “It is with heavy hearts that we can confirm our Chester Distribution Center team suffered the loss of three valued team members early this morning. We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic car accident that occurred and offer our most heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those affected. We pray for the recovery and healing of the additional team members injured in the accident.”
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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