Mahwah crash kills UPS driver Thursday, July 19, 2007 By JASON TSAI STAFF WRITER MAHWAH -- A tractor-trailer slammed into a Route 17 guardrail Wednesday morning, killing the driver and causing traffic delays throughout the day. UPS driver David Brown, 47, of Schenectady, N.Y., was killed when his truck struck a guardrail and then a concrete support column near the Mountainside Road overpass around 6 a.m. Because the vehicle was towing two full trailers, most of the damage likely was caused by the force of the shipment slamming into the cab, said Police Capt. Stephen Jaffe. "Without that momentum -- without that full weight -- it probably wouldn't have been crushed so badly," the captain said. Police closed all three northbound lanes of the highway for about four hours before reopening one of them for New York State Thruway access. Traffic remained backed up well into the afternoon. Jaffe said the tandem trailer, bound for Albany, N.Y., from Philadelphia, Pa., was headed north when Brown somehow lost control and it careered off a guardrail near Mountainside Road. It traveled about 100 feet before slamming into a concrete support column for the Route 287 overpass, Jaffe said. After striking the cab, the trailers came to a rest across the Route 17. No one else was injured. The Bergen County Police hazardous materials team was called to the scene because one of the trailers bore a corrosive-materials placard, Jaffe said. But neither of the trailers seemed to have been carrying such materials. "The freight was mostly UPS boxes," Jaffe said. "It doesn't look like anything was disrupted or broken open." Although rain pounded across most of the region Wednesday morning, Jaffe wouldn't speculate on the accident's cause. "We have no determination so far, as the investigation is going on," he said.