NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – For the second time today an accident near Crystal Ridge Drive on Route 22 shut down lanes of traffic, this time on the Eastbound side just west of the Watchung Square Mall jughandle.
Nathan “Edge” Gluck of Milltown was driving his Hyundai Santa Fe when he felt it start to pull a little, and then as he passed the light at North Drive smelled smoke. A quarter mile later he had pulled over and was removing his two bases and a stack amplifier before the flames erupted out from under the hood.
Gluck is the bassist for Central Jersey mainstay punk band Ensign, who he’s played with since 1996. He was not injured in the incident, and showed a positive attitude when talking with police.
“I just got it back from the shop after a month of work on the exhaust system,” said Gluck. “But what are you going to do? You just have to laugh.”
This morning a Smart Car was rear ended by a Honda CRV on Route 22 West almost immediately across the barrier from Gluck’s burning Santa Fe. The Smart Car got the best of the battle, with the front of the CRV heavily damaged but, according to a police officer at the scene, some light damage to a panel that snapped right back on.
“I’d been making fun of the Smart Car,” said the officer. “But it really survived the accident well, and the CRV did not.”
Three police cars, both North Plainfield pumper trucks and the private ambulance service GEM responded to the scene. After the fire department put the engine fire out a tow truck took Gluck and his musical instruments away.