Joao Daponta, 59, killed in George Washington Bridge tractor-trailer crash

The George Washington Bridge reopened more than nine hours after a deadly crash snarled traffic in New Jersey early Thursday morning. (6/12/14)

FORT LEE - The George Washington Bridge reopened more than nine hours after a deadly crash snarled traffic in New Jersey early Thursday morning.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Rudy King says two tractor-trailers crashed on the bridge's upper level and became wedged together shortly after 2 a.m. 

Officials say Joao Daponta, 59, of North Plainfield died at the scene. He was an employee of Hermann Leasing.

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The 63-year-old man driving the other truck was taken to the hospital for evaluation and released.

Authorities reopened one New York-bound upper lane several hours later. The other eastbound upper-level lanes remained closed until around 11:30 a.m. while officials removed the victim's body and separated the trucks.

The wreck caused a domino effect with traffic backed up for miles and for hours along alternate routes.

The backups spread well beyond Fort Lee, impacting major arteries throughout the region and even drivers trying to leave New York.

Many motorists who had nothing but time on their hands took to social media, posting photos and video of their ordeal.

Police have not released any information on what may have caused the crash.

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