via Good Morning AmericaIt's been called "The Big Road" and "The Monster Road." But the name that truly captures the essence of the New Jersey Turnpike is "The Black Dragon."
Sixty-three years since it was first opened to traffic, The Turnpike remains one of America's best-known and most daunting thoroughfares. A road so fast, so mean and so fearsome that some state troopers spend their careers trying to avoid being assigned to it, while those who have patrolled the highway wear their experiences as a badge of honor. "It's always been a real source of pride for someone to say 'I worked The Black Dragon," said retired New Jersey State Police Maj. Al Della Fave. "They don't even allow troops to go out there too soon -- they want you to have minimum 18 months experience before you're even allowed to patrol The Turnpike." For those who know The Turnpike and drive it, it's not surprising that a traffic crash -- like the one early Saturday morning -- critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and members of his entourage and killed one of Morgan's writers.