Police Chief Ralph Scianni said the jeep was traveling northbound on Avenue A when the vehicle struck the bridge. The driver, Michael Burke – an EMT for McCabe Ambulance – died after being partly ejected from the crumpled vehicle. The passenger, Mark Bayus, was trapped and had to be extricated from the vehicle before being rushed to Jersey City Medical Center’s trauma center for life-threatening injuries to the face and head. He was listed in critical condition.
Scianni said the accident is still under investigation, but said it was one of the more horrific scenes he had seen in his 34 year career.
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families,” he said.
Inspectors from the city’s building department as well as rail inspectors were called to evaluate the structural condition of the bridge. -- Al Sullivan