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Woman killed and police officers injured in related accidents

A New Jersey woman was killed and two police officers injured after two related car accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike.

According to police reports, the subsequent crashes involved the same vehicle. The first car accident occurred when a 24-year-old Linden woman reportedly lost control of her vehicle while driving along the northbound lanes of the Turnpike. The 2008 Mazda sedan collided with the right guardrail, and then veered to the left where it slammed against the center divider. The car then came to rest in the far left lane.

The crash was soon made worse when the woman's vehicle was hit by a New Jersey State Police cruiser that was carrying two police officers. Police reports do not specify the time of the first single-car accident, but state that the second accident took place around 2:30 a.m.

The female driver was pronounced dead at the scene. It is not known whether her single-car accident or the collision with the police cruiser caused her death. The two police officers, who have not been identified, were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where they received treatment for minor injuries and were soon released.

According to a spokesman with the New Jersey State Police, the tragic car accident remains under investigation. Police do not know what caused the young woman to lose control of her vehicle, but are investigating whether intoxication or another impairment was a contributor. It has not been reported whether the officers were responding to the first single-car accident when the cruiser crashed into the car.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Linden woman dies in N.J. Turnpike crash; 2 state troopers are injured in second crash", Simone Sebastian, 19 March 2011

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