UPDATE, 2:04 p.m. -- The driver responsible for a fatal five-vehicle accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge suffered an anxiety attack before driving the wrong way, state police reportedly told the Journal News.
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- One woman was killed and four other people were injured in a wrong-way crash that caused a multi-vehicle pileup and delayed traffic for hours on the northbound Tappan Zee Bridge Tuesday night.
Traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge was open in both directions early Wednesday.
According to New York State Police, Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, 56, from Hillcrest, N.Y., was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Rockland County Medical Examiner. The four injured people were taken to area hospitals in serious and critical conditions.
State Police Troop T from SP Tarrytown received a report of a vehicle going the wrong way on I-87’s north lane of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Seconds later, State Police received a report of a multiple vehicle rollover accident with serious injuries and entrapment. the following is a detailed report by New York State Police:
The accident investigation conducted by the State Police revealed that Michael Schechel, 69, from Thiells, N.Y., was driving a white SUV south bound in the north bound lane on the Rockland County side of the Tappan Zee Bridge. His vehicle slammed head on into a Nissan operated by Newman Ayeh-Brachie, 57, from Hillcrest, N.Y., causing it to roll over multiple times before coming to rest on its roof in the middle lane.
A third vehicle, operated by Juan Robles, 34, from Bronx, NY, also traveling north, was able to swerve and miss Schechel’s vehicle, but then hits Ayeh-Brachie’s vehicle before coming to rest.
A fourth vehicle, operated by Nancy Gallo, 44, from Basking Ridge, N.J., was traveling north as well and as she approached the lane blockage, Gallo was able to avoid striking Schechel’s vehicle, but then rear ends Robles’ vehicle before coming to rest.
A fifth vehicle, driven by Thomas Gibson, 40, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., then sideswiped Schechel’s vehicle and came to rest.
State police closed the northbound lanes to perform an accident reconstruction.
Hundreds of Rockland-bound drivers were stuck on the bridge, some for as many as six hours, Tuesday night.