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Sleeping Driver Crashes Into Tractor Trailer, Cops Say

24-year-old Highland Lakes woman airlifted to the hospital, truck driver avoided head-on collision.

A 24-year-old woman appears to have fallen asleep at the wheel when her car crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a tractor trailer on Route 94 Thursday afternoon, Sparta Police said.

Renae K. Cianci, of Highland Lakes, was extricated with the Jaws of Life and airlifted to Morristown Medical Center with multiple fractures to her legs and pelvis, Sgt. John-Paul Beebe said. Cianci's condition was not immediately known Thursday night at about 7 p.m., Beebe said.

According to Beebe, drug paraphernalia was found in Cianci's 2004 Nissan Sentra, which was destroyed in the crash.

Officer Richard Smith, the lead investigator of the crash, said Cianci was travelling southbound on Route 94, fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the double-yellow lines and into the path of a tractor trailer heading northbound near Sussex Technical School at about 2 p.m., Beebe said.

The driver of the truck, Jonathan D. Morris, 42, of Wantage, "took evasive action to avoid a head-on collision," Beebe said. Cianci's vehicle struck the front driver-side of the tractor trailer, which is owned by the Sussex County Municipal Utility and was hauling a full load of waste water, Beebe said.

Cianci's car spun counter-clockwise beneath the tractor trailer and was then run over by the left rear wheel carriage, Beebe said. The Nissan came to rest against the guide rail in the northbound lane, Beebe said.

The Sparta Fire Department was able to extricate Cianci from the vehicle and she was transported by the Sparta First Aid Squad and St. Clare's Paramedics to the Route 517 bypass where she was airlifted to the hospital, Beebe said.

Charges have not yet been filed against Cianci, but are pending, Beebe said.

According to Beebe, there was no evidence the tractor trailer was speeding and does not appear to have been operated in a careless manner. There was also no evidence the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Beebe said.

The accident, which closed Route 94 in both directions for more than three hours, is being reconstructed by officers Kurt Morris, Jeffrey McCarrick and CJ Grauerholz.

Pamela Moen January 04, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Hopefully young lady will recover. Truck driver will relive that crash rest of his career. She should be charged, if she had drug paraphernalia in vehicle it's a good bet she was under the influence. I'm a truck driver and altho my prayers go out to young lady, I'm doubly praying for the truck driver. He will be put through the DOT wringer
jazzman January 04, 2013 at 09:19 PM
only from the pics you can see the truck driver just might have saved her life,avoiding that headon the back rear driver side tires impacting and then cutting across her hood missing her by inches
BeachBum January 05, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Shes damn lucky it was a large truck rather than an entire family in a smaller car
Liberty January 05, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Holy crap! She is lucky to be alive, thanks to the truck driver and his split-second, instinctive reaction. If she was DUI, I hope this is a wake-up call to get help. Just looking at the picture of that car makes me shudder.

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