Traffic accidents, transit delays cause commuting nightmare around New Jersey

Posted: Updated:
A truck fire caused heavy traffic on Route 3 in Rutherford. A truck fire caused heavy traffic on Route 3 in Rutherford.
RUTHERFORD -

Traveling around New Jersey Wednesday evening proved difficult after a series of mishaps caused major traffic and transit delays.

The problems all started around 2:30 p.m. when a tractor-trailer caught fire along Route 3 West in Rutherford.

“I just heard a loud bang, and I ran across the street…I saw a tire pop,” says witness Lamar Powell. “The [driver] actually came outside, he was trying to put it out with a fire extinguisher.”

But the driver was not able to douse the flames, which quickly engulfed the truck.

The fire caused officials to close parts of Route 3 for nearly four hours. Traffic was diverted off the highway, leading to heavy delays.

Some drivers tell News 12 New Jersey that they were stuck in traffic for about two hours.

Several miles away, a crash on Route 46 West caused closures in both directions, and also impacted traffic on Route 3 West in another area.

While traffic along Route 3 was backed up, Amtrak signal problems caused hourlong delays for New Jersey Transit, LIRR and Amtrak riders. There were large crowds inside New York Penn Station as commuters waited for their trains.

NJ Transit did put cross-honoring into effect. But some buses were also delayed due to the issues on Route 3.

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