State police say 75-year-old Jack DeCarlo, of Hamilton Twp., Mercer County, was conscious as he was being airlifted to Crozer-Chester Medical Center after the crash.
The incident happened in the southbound lanes of the turnpike at 7:30 a.m. Monday near Mile Marker 6, north of Interchange 1 in Oldmans Township.
Video from Chopper 6 HD showed a black SUV in a grassy area off the highway with a large hole visible in the driver's side of the windshield.
Action News is told DeCarlo was flown to an area hospital in critical condition. His wife Pat who was in the car with him was not injured.
There was no immediate word as to how a 50 pound dumbbell could have ended up hitting the windshield. State police say they haven't ruled out the possibility someone may have thrown the dumbbell over one the overpasses nearby.
There are two very close to the scene.
Both sides of the turnpike were shut down earlier Monday approaching the crash scene as medics attended to the injured driver and police investigated.