Teen Girl Killed in NJ Tractor-Trailer Crash

Submitted by truck accident attorney, Jeffrey Hark

After crashing into a guard rail on Interstate 295 Sunday night, a teenage girl stepped out of her car and was then killed when a tractor trailer struck her on the roadway.

Lyric Smith, 18, of Burlington, N.J., was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, north on I-295 in Westampton Township, Burlington County, according to police. Smith lost control of her vehicle, drove off the roadway and struck a guide rail around 11:30 p.m.

The vehicle came to a final rest in the left center lane of I-295.

As Smith exited her vehicle, Peter Strautman, 64, of Punta Gorda, Florida, was driving a tractor trailer in the northbound center lane of I-295. Strautman tried to maneuver into the left lane to avoid the disabled vehicle, but was unable to switch lanes fast enough, authorities said.

The tractor trailer then struck the disabled vehicle and Smith, police said.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Strautman was not hurt.

The 18-year-old woman was a student at Burlington County Institute of Technology Westampton.

School officials released a statement Monday expressing their condolences and offering support to Smith’s classmates.

“It is with a heavy heart I share that our school community experienced a tragedy early Monday morning,” said BCIT Westampton Joseph Venuto. “Please join in expressing our thoughts and prayers for those families impacted.”

The New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Incident Management Unit responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

The accidents remain under investigation.

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Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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