Police & Fire

Two Fanwood Residents Escape Fiery Blaze in Fatal Car Accident

Credits: Photo obtained from NJ State Police FB Page

MAHWAH, NJ –  Two Fanwood residents avoided serious injury caused by a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 287 northbound in Mahwah on Tuesday afternoon, June 24.

Rosemary DiBattista, 58, of Fanwood was cautiously passing a disabled cement truck parked on the shoulder of the highway, when she was slammed in the rear bumper by a Freightliner tractor-trailer. 

The tractor-trailer, driven by Adelbert McKee, hit 2000 Toyota Avalon, as well as the left side of the cement truck and the three workers who were trying to fix it. The mid-sized sedan and the tractor-trailer quickly became engulfed in flames. However, DiBattista, her husband, Anthony DiBattista, 59, and McKee, 58, were able to escape the blaze and sustained only minor injuries. 

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The Concrete on Demand cement company workers -- Harry Bulatowicz, 58, of Ellenville, N.Y., Santiago F. Mercado, 42, and Santiago M. Mercado, 22, (a father and son) both of Nyack, N.Y. -- were pronounced dead at the scene.  

No charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation, according to New Jersey State Police.

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