Three Teens Arrested for Allegedly Hurling Cinderblock From Overpass, Injuring Trucker
Salem, NJ – Three New Jersey teens have been arrested and charged with multiple crimes following an incident last month along the New Jersey Turnpike that left one trucker with a face full of glass.
Last month, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported what happened to 37-year-old Piscataway trucker, Dennis Gilbert, on the evening of March 26.
According to Gilbert, who spoke to TNN about the incident, he was operating his 2005 Peterbilt and hauling a load of trees northbound along the NJ Turnpike at mile marker 5 when at approximately 10:30 p.m. he traveled over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
As he approached the Penns Grove Auburn Road overpass at about 70 mph, Gilbert says he noticed multiple young men standing near a pickup truck along the overpass.
“Something about the truck caught my eyes,” Gilbert told TNN. “Somebody on the overpass was looking through the fence.”
The next thing he knew he had a “face and eyes full of glass” after a cinderblock — hung from the bridge by an orange and black rope — smashed his windshield.
“It was like an explosion in my cab,” Gilbert recalled.
“The impact was so hard I thought I hit a parked car in the slow lane,” he later wrote in a social media post about the incident.
Fortunately, the concrete block struck his truck’s “annoyingly low visor” which he credits with “probably” saving his life.
Gilbert was able to bring his rig to a safe stop.
He says his face was bleeding significantly as a fellow trucker, thankfully uninjured, also was able to bring his rig to a safe stop and then rush to his aid.
Gilbert then says he got out of his truck still wondering what had just happened.
“My face is literally covered in glass and I ask, ‘Did I kill somebody?’”
After a while, he says the reality of what had actually happened began to set in as first responders picked the glass out of his eyes, face, and scalp.
“It was a lot to handle. My eyes are still sore. I feel like I have sand in them,” he explained to TNN.
New Jersey State Police (NJSP) have been investigating the incident since that time, and on Friday, announced it had arrested three male teenagers in connection with the alleged assault.
A 17-year-old from Elmer, a 16-year-old from Penns Grove, and a 16-year-old from Pittsgrove have been charged with aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
The suspects are expected to be processed at a later time due to newly implemented COVID-19 restrictions.