A driver slammed a brand-new MINI Cooper into the divider on Route 4 in Teaneck, then ran off into nearby woods before dawn Saturday, authorities confirmed.
The MINI was totaled and two other vehicles damaged in the overnight chain-reaction crash, which closed the westbound highway for hours.
The MINI, which had temporary Maryland license tags, sideswiped an SUV, forcing it into the median around 2:30 a.m., witnesses told police.
It then swerved and hit the divider head-on, leaving a large field of debris, they said.
The SUV driver apparently was telling the MINI driver that police had to be called and insurance information exchanged when he suddenly climbed out and ran into the woods near Queen Anne Road.
Moments later, a Mercedes sedan hit the MINI.
The sedan and SUV drivers weren’t seriously injured, witnesses said.
The fleeing driver was described as white, in his late teens to mid 20s, with blond hair.
A Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9, sheriff’s officers and Englewood police joined their Teaneck colleagues in searching for him.
Westbound Route 4 remained closed for several hours for the cleanup and investigation.
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