3 dead in Rockaway Twp. crash; driver charged

File photo

File photo (7/11/15)

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP - A Mountain Lakes man has been charged in connection with a crash that killed three people early Saturday morning on I-80.

State police say the crash occurred at around 1:40 a.m. on the westbound side of the interstate in Rockaway Township. The driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee was stopped in the left-center lane, with a Kia sedan carrying three people stopped in traffic behind it.

Police say Bhavuk Uppal, who was driving a Cadillac Escalade, struck the Kia, causing it to collide with the Jeep. The Kia then burst into flames, and the Cadillac ran off the road, coming to a rest while overturned in a grassy area.

The three Kia occupants - an unidentified man, woman and child - were pronounced dead at the scene. The two people inside the Jeep were taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Uppal was also taken to Morristown Memorial, where he was treated and released. He is now facing a slew of charges that include death by auto, assault by auto, causing death or injury while driving while suspended, possession of drug paraphernalia and DWI.

Uppal was held at Morris County Jail on $300,000 bail.

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