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Two Fanwood Residents Escape Fiery Blaze in Fatal Car Accident

Sean Conklin

Thursday, June 26, 2014 • 12:40pm

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. 

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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