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Van Carrying N.J. Prisoners Carjacked In New Jersey, Crashes After Chase; Inmates Unhurt

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- A van taking prisoners to a roadside work detail was carjacked Thursday, leading to a chase on the Garden State Parkway that ended when the van rolled over on the roadside.

The inmates and driver had been ordered out of the van and were not injured. The fate of the person who took it was not immediately clear.

The chase started at about 10:30 a.m. in Eatontown in east-central New Jersey when a man pointed a gun in the face of a corrections officer, said Matt Shuman, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. The van was transporting five minimum-security prisoners from Northern State Prison in Newark, he said.

The van apparently rolled over after about 70 miles, west of Atlantic City. Police surrounded the overturned van after closing the roadway in both directions near its intersection with the Atlantic City Expressway.

Neither the officer nor the inmates were hurt, Shuman said. The inmates _ who were to spend the day picking up trash along highways _ were in the custody of Eatontown police, who were arranging to transport them back to Newark.

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