Deadly crash on Tappan Zee Bridge

Elderly wrong-way driver causes deadly crash on Tappan Zee

Posted: Updated:
One person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash on the Tappan Zee Bridge. One person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash on the Tappan Zee Bridge.
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

One woman was killed and four others were injured in a multi-vehicle accident in the northbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The New York State Police got a call at about 8:50 p.m. of a vehicle going the wrong way on I-87. Seconds later, police received a report of a multiple vehicle rollover accident with serious injuries.

Police say that Michael Schechel, 69, from Thiells, N.Y. was driving a white SUV southbound in the northbound lane on the Rockland County side of the bridge.

His vehicle slammed head-on into a Nissan driven by Newman Ayeh-Brachie, 57, from Hillcrest N.Y. Ayeh-Brachie's car rolled several times before coming to a stop on its roof in the middle lane.

A third vehicle, driven by Juan Robles, 34, from the Bronx, was also traveling north. He was able to swerve and miss Schechel’s vehicle, but then hit Ayeh-Brachie’s vehicle.

A fourth vehicle, driven 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’ car.

A fifth vehicle, driven by Thomas Gibson, 40, from Poughkeepsie, then sideswiped Schechel’s car.

A passenger of Ayeh-Brachie’s vehicle, Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, 56, died at the scene.

The other injured drivers were transported to Nyack Hospital. They were reported to be in serious and critical conditions.

State police closed the northbound lanes for approximately six hours to perform an accident reconstruction. Many drivers in the northbound lanes were stuck in the closure.  Southbound traffic remained open.

Police say there have been no arrests but the accident is still under investigation.

All lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge are now open to traffic.

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