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Irvington Township Woman Fatally Struck by Truck on I-80 During Spring Break Return

Hardwick Irvington Township

By: Richard L. Smith 

An Essex County resident, Valdaishi Simpkins, 27, of Irvington, tragically lost her life after being hit by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 80 in Warren County, New Jersey State Police reported.Real EstateThe incident occurred early Monday morning, around 8:21 a.m., in the eastbound lanes of the interstate near milepost 0.3 in Hardwick Township.

According to the preliminary investigation, a Volvo tractor-trailer was traveling east on I-80 when it veered onto the right shoulder, where Simpkins' Honda passenger vehicle was parked due to a disabled tire.

Witnesses said the Amazon tractor-trailer continued on its path until state troopers managed to flag it down, unaware that they struck the woman. 

According to reports at the time of the accident, Simpkins was returning home from Pennsylvania, where she had been spending the Easter vacation with her sister.

Accompanying her in the car were her 7-year-old child, a 3-month-old baby, and an adult male. 

It was reported that Simpkins had exited the vehicle to change a blown-out tire when the tractor-trailer struck her, leading to fatal injuries.

The incident remains under active investigation by the New Jersey State Police.

In light of this tragic event, State Police are reminding drivers of the importance of staying inside their vehicles if they become disabled on the highway.

They stress the danger of attempting to fix flat tires on the roadway or the shoulder, emphasizing the priority of safety in such situations.