One dead in crash on Ben Franklin Bridge

Posted: June 03, 2012

A 60-year-old man died and five people were hospitalized Saturday evening after a disabled van on the Ben Franklin Bridge was struck from behind by a car driven by a 19-year-old man who was intoxicated, bridge police said.

Tim Ireland, a spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority, said the crash occurred about 6:30 p.m. when the van, with six people inside, was hit by a late-model Mazda. Ireland said the van was on the New Jersey side of the bridge, facing west in the second lane from the right when the Mazda smashed into it. Both vehicles had Pennsylvania license plates.

The deceased, who had been in the rear seat of the van, suffered a heart attack and died at the scene, Ireland said. Four people in the van were taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden and one was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, he said.

In the Mazda was the driver, who police said was from Delaware County, and a passenger. Ireland said the driver had a blood-alcohol level of .08.

He was in police custody Saturday evening and the passenger was being questioned by police. Ireland said the driver was expected to be charged with driving under the influence, and might also be charged with vehicular homicide, among other offenses. The incident remained under investigation.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or at vclark@phillynews.com.

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