Wrong-way driver on Tappan Zee Bridge kills one, seriously injures four

By Chelsey Hamilton,

The Tappan Zee Bridge, a bridge that carries the New York State Thruway over the Hudson River north of New York City, was the scene of a deadly multiple-car crash Tuesday night when a driver in a white SUV drove down the highway the wrong way.

The 69-year-old man, Michael Schechel from Thiells, New York was driving south in a northbound lane on the bridge Tuesday just after 9 p.m. A few drivers were lucky enough to avoid a head-on collision by swerving out of the way when they saw his car, but others were not, leaving one dead and four seriously injured.

Schechel crashed head-on into a Nissan driven by 57-year-old Newman Ayeh-Brachie of Hillcrest, New York, causing Ayeh-Brachie’s vehicle to roll over numerous times. He was rushed to the hospital for unspecified injuries. Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, his 56-year-old wife who was in the passenger seat, died on the scene.

According to the New York Times, 34-year-old Juan Robles from the Bronx avoided the crash by swerving out of the way, but then Nancy Gallo, 44, crashed into Robles’s car. They were both taken to the hospital for injuries.

Lohud reports that 48-year-old Donna Collins was one of the lucky drivers who missed a head-on crash by quickly swerving out of Schechel’s way.

“I was three cars away from fatality. I am still shaking,” Collins said. “The police officer told me to buy a lottery ticket.”

The collision caused debris all over the road and a huge traffic jam, leaving the bridge closed for a few hours. No arrests have been made yet, but police are still investigating the incident.

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