Four people were killed and eight were hospitalized with varying injuries following a shuttle van crash Friday morning on New Jersey’s Palisades Interstate Parkway, officials said.
The crash was reported shortly before 1:30 a.m. in the center median of the southbound lanes in Englewood Cliffs, Palisades Interstate Parkway Police said.
The van, listed as a Ford Econoline E350 passenger cargo van with New York registration, had 12 people on board, police said.
When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered "a single vehicle accident rollover" and said several passengers were trapped in the vehicle.
Rescue and first aid operations began immediately after officers arrived.
Four passengers “suffered severe trauma” and were pronounced dead at the scene, police said in a news release.
Eight were taken to area hospitals for a range of injuries from severe head trauma to minor physical complaints, authorities said.
The driver of the van was among the dead, NBC New York reported. Some victims had to be flown to hospitals after they were freed from the vehicle, according to the station.
Police did not release the victims' names.
Officials said the van served as a transportation service for workers in factories in upstate New York to and from their residences.
Party City, a company that sells party goods, said in a statement some of the victims were employees with its Chester Distribution Center but confirmed the driver was not a company employee.
“It is with heavy hearts that we can confirm our Chester Distribution Center team suffered the loss of three valued team members early this morning," the company said in a statement.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic car accident that occurred and offer our most heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those affected. We pray for the recovery and healing of the additional team members injured in the accident,” the statement continued.
Video footage from the scene showed the vehicle on its side near a tree.
The cause of the accident is under investigation by parkway police, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Bergen County Prosecutors Office Fatal Accident Unit.
Police said in a news release that southbound lanes of the Palisades Interstate Parkway are closed at exit 2 and all traffic is being diverted to the southbound lanes of Route 9W.