Thanks to the skill and heroism of rescue workers, a 20-year-old driver was expected to survive a horrific Thursday morning crash in which her car rear-ended a tractor-trailer on the shoulder of southbound Route 287 in Mahwah.
The Nissan Senta – with South Carolina license plates -- slammed into the Charlie International Transport trailer just south of Exit 66 around 6:30 a.m.
Members of Mahwah Rescue Company 1 did an extensive extrication with help from township Fire Companies 2 and 4 and the Franklin Lakes Rescue team.
AirMed One flew the victim to Hackensack University Medical Center with head injuries that responders said weren’t life-threatening. She was listed there in serious condition, they said.
"It was pure luck and that her car was lower to the ground," one responder said. "The hood folded over the steering wheel like an accordion but only a few inches over. What was left of the top windshield was sitting on her face."
The highway was temporarily closed for the rescue and then the cleanup. Morning traffic was jammed in the area and on the New York State Thruway.
ALSO SEE: A driver walked away from a snow-related crash in Cresskill on Thursday after firefighters freed her.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.