A tractor trailer driver was freed and hoisted to safety shortly after 8 this morning, following an accident in Mount Laurel that jammed the northbound New Jersey Turnpike for hours.

The accident, which also involved a Chevy van, left the big rig shredded, its cargo expelled, and the cab with the driver dangling off a bridge over Parkers Creek, just north of a service area, according to Fox29 news.

He was trapped for more than two hours, since the initial report came in at 5:46 a.m., according to state police.

A medical helicopter was on hand, ready to transport the driver to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, according to Sgt. Steve Jones.

The van driver - a Mount Laurel resident who was also trapped - was taken to Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly, to be treated for minor injuries.

The van never left the highway, according to Fox29.

Reports conflicted about tractor trailer driver's condition, Jones said, but TV images of the rescue showed the man moving an arm as he was lifted out on a backboard.

A crane was brought from Pennsauken to help move the tractor trailer, so the driver could be freed, Jones said.

Traffic was backed up for at least four miles, as only the left lane was open past the scene, between Exit 4 for Mount Laurel and Exit 5 for Burlington / Mount Holly.

The delay stretched for four miles, state police said.

The investigation and cleanup were likely to keep lanes blocked for hours, so motorists are advised this morning to find alternate routes, such as Route 295.

The tractor trailer driver was transporting hair products from Warren, Mich., Jones said.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.