One Person Killed, Many Injured in Big Rig Crashes in New Jersey and Maine

Seventeen people were injured when a bus collided with two tractor trailers on the New Jersey Turnpike.A pair of tractor trailer accidents in New Jersey and Maine have claimed the life of a motorcyclist and injured a number of passengers.

In New Jersey, official said that 17 people were injured after a Washington D.C. bound tour bus crashed into two tractor trailers that had slowed due to traffic congestion on the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County on August 24.

The Newark Star Ledger reports that the accident occurred around 11:53 a.m. when the bus carrying 55 people slammed into a big rig owned by J.B. Hunt, which then rear-ended another truck on the southbound side of the turnpike in South Brunswick. As a result of the collision, the bus became wedged between a guardrail and the back end of the first truck, which had jackknifed.

The 52-year-old unidentified driver of the bus was reportedly seriously injured in the crash. He was flown to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Two bus passengers were also seriously injured in the accident. A number of other passengers also suffered less serious injuries including broken bones and cuts.

The interstate was shut down for several hours for emergency crews to clear the wreckage. Traffic was reportedly backed up for seven miles due to the closure.

According to the news agency, the accident was the second major collision involving a charter bus on the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County this year.

In Maine, a 43-year-old motorcyclist is dead following a collision with an 18-wheeler on Route 2 in Norridgewock.

The Maine Morning Sentinel reports that the accident occurred around 1 p.m. on August 24 after a motorcycle being driven by David Beach attempted to pass a 1999 International tractor trailer which was in the process of making a left-hand turn into the parking lot of Brown's Welding and Steel Company.

Officials said that the Beach's motorcycle hit the truck below the driver's side door near the left gas tank.

Beach was flown to Maine Medical Center in Bangor where he later died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash.

The driver of the semi, 50-year-old Maurice Ramsdell of Dexter, was reportedly not injured in the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 4,462 motorcyclists died as the result of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2009.