Cops in Ocean County say a vehicle that hit a deer early Wednesday morning caused an accident that lead to a tanker truck that was filled with thousands of gallons of gasoline to explode.

The Manchester Township Police Department says their officers were called out to Route 37 at mile marker 1.5 just before 3 AM.

Through an investigation, cops were able to determine that a,

"Honda was travelling east on [Route] 37, when a deer entered the roadway in front of the vehicle, causing the Honda to strike the deer, spin, and become disabled in the roadway. The driver, identified as 18-year-old Marissa Patterson of Forked River, exited her vehicle and stood at a safe location off to the side of the roadway to contact police. While doing so, a 2006 Mac tractor pulling a 2003 tanker trailer filled with 8700 gallons of gasoline, was also travelling eastbound on SH 37 and being operated by 46-year-old Svilen Ivanov of Voorhees. The Mac then collided with the Honda, propelling the Honda forward and causing the Mac to swerve and strike the concrete center barrier."

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Once the truck hit the barrier, it split -- the Mac went over the dividing wall and stopped on the westbound side of Route 37 while the trailer overturned on the eastbound side, gas spilled out of it, and then it exploded.

The explosion, according to police, set both sides of Route 37 on fire, and adjacent businesses and a wooded area were damaged.

Route 37 in Manchester Township NJ - Photo: Manchester Township Police Department
Route 37 in Manchester Township NJ - Photo: Manchester Township Police Department

Amazingly, no injures were reported; Ivanov was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Route 37 was still closed as the scene was being cleaned-up and the road repaired.

The accident remains under investigation.

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