According to the Rockland Times, state police are trying to determine how a man ended up driving the wrong-way on the Tappan Zee Bridge, causing a five-car accident that killed a Rockland County resident.
On July 23, four people including a wrong-way driver were injured and one person was killed, on the bridge following a crash at 8:51 p.m. An initial investigation resulted in no arrests. The car accident killed Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, 56, of Hillcrest, who was a passenger in a car hit head-on by wrong-way driver Michael Schechel, 69, of Thiells, according to the Times.
Police said that Schechel, driving an SUV, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the New York State Thruway, got onto the Tappan Zee Bridge and struck a Nissan driven by Newman Ayeh-Brachie, 57, of Hillcrest. The Nissan rolled over several times before coming to a rest on its roof.
A vehicle driven by Juan Robles, 34, was able to avoid Schechel’s car, but hit the Nissan driven by Newman Aveh-Brachie, according to the Times. Robles was not hurt in the accident. Nancy Gallo, 44, of Basking Ridge, NJ, was also able to avoid Schechel’s car, but hit Robles’ car. The Times reported that Gallo was taken to Westchester Medical Center for treatment of neck pain and shock. A fifth vehicle, driven by Thomas Gibson, 40, of Poughkeepsie, hit Schechel’s car. Gibson and his 10-year-old son were not injured, police told the Times.
Hannah, a passenger in Newman’s vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Newman was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla for treatment. Schechel was transported to Nyack Hospital for treatment of a head injury. A passenger in his vehicle, Luz Hoffman, 56, was taken to Westchester Medical Center for treatment.
Wrong-way car accidents often end in tragedy. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), nearly 400 people die each year from wrong-way driving accidents. Some of the most common causes of wrong-way crashes are alcohol impairment, distracted drivers and medical emergencies.
If you have suffered a personal injury or experienced death in your family because of a negligent driver, contact us toll free at (800) 711-5258 to schedule a free initial consultation or complete the form on this page to let our skilled attorneys review your case.
KGG’s Corner: According to the NTSB, drunk driving is responsible for an estimated 60 percent of wrong-way crashes.