It wasn't a scene for the faint of heart: A man who got out of a sedan after it was rear-ended on Route 4 in Teaneck over the weekend was struck and killed in a chain-reaction crash that sent a van careening into a house and bursting into flames.
It began when the Toyota Sienna was rear-ended by a Honda Accord on westbound Route 4 off North Wilson Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday.
The van rolled across a lawn and slammed into a brick wall of the North Wilson Avenue home, landing right side up and bursting into flames, authorities said.
The van driver and a passenger got out OK, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton said.
The Accord, meanwhile, slammed into the median and was disabled across the left and center lanes of westbound Route 4, he said.
Responding Bergen County sheriff's officers shouted at a 22-year-old occupant of the Accord to stay in the car as he got out and began to walk across the highway in the dark, witnesses said.
He kept going and was struck by a Jeep whose driver didn't see him standing there, they said.
The dismembered victim died on the way to the hospital, leaving a gruesome scene, responders told Daily Voice.
Homeowner Renee Harriogt told News12 New Jersey that she'd been sleeping on a couch behind the brick wall that was struck by the van.
Next to her, she said, was a photo and the ashes of her mother, who Harriogt said died of COVID-19 earlier this year.
"Everything's a mess inside. It's extremely frightening, scary," she said, adding that her mother must have been watching over her.
Teaneck firefighters doused the blaze.
Route 4 was closed in the area for an investigation that included Teaneck police, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Fatal Accident Investigations Unit and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification, which collected evidence. The Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded.
No charges were immediately filed or summonses issued. The investigation was continuing, the sheriff said.
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The incident was reminiscent of a crash a month ago in which a 21-year-old Teaneck native was struck and killed when she got out of her car following a collision on Route 95 in Fort Lee.
ALL PHOTOS: News12 New Jersey
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