As he recuperated in a hospital bed, a dump truck driver from Bergen County who miraculously survived a horrific crash on Route 287 worried about the fate of his dog.
The pooch bolted as rescuers arrived at the scene of the noontime rollover on the northbound highway in Mahwah on Monday. No one knew where he'd gone.
Then on Tuesday, state Department of Transportation workers found the little fella sitting on the side of the road not far from the scene.
New Jersey State Police brought the dog to Hackensack University Medical Center, where preparations were already being made for 29-year-old Elmwood Park driver's release.
The Kenilworth dump truck, owned by Cahl Trucking of Elmwood Park, first hit the guardrail on the highway's left shoulder around 11 a.m., NJSP Sgt. Philip Curry said.
It then "rotated counter-clockwise and struck the guardrail again and overturned," the sereant said.
The truck landed on its roof on the median guardrail. The heavily entrapped driver's legs were pinned in the crushed cab.
It took firefighters about 90 minutes to extricate him. Fortunately, he was conscious and alert while being taken to the hospital with injuries that multiple responders agreed were miraculously not life-threatening.
The southbound lanes were eventually reopened, but northbound Route 287 remained closed for hours so heavy-duty wreckers could lift the rig onto a flatbed and remove the wreckage from the scene.
State Police were investigating the cause of the crash, Curry said.
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