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Tappan Zee Accident: Witnesses Describe Deadly Head-On Bridge Crash

Image: Tappan Zee Accident: Witnesses Describe Deadly Head-On Bridge Crash

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 09:08 AM

By Alexandra Ward

Witnesses said the 69-year-old man who caused a five-car accident after he smashed head on into another vehicle on the Tappan Zee Bridge Tuesday night was speeding as he barreled the wrong way into oncoming traffic.

"He had his lights on and he was beeping at me and I could not believe what I was seeing. He was speeding, I want to say over 60 miles per hour because he flew right by me," witness Doreen Ciborowksi told The Journal News. "All I thought to myself is this guy's on a suicide mission. Either that, or he’s high or drunk."

One woman died and four others were seriously injured in the accident.

Police said Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, 56, was killed when Michael Schechel smashed his Ford Explorer into the Nissan that she was a passenger in, according to The News.

Schechel, of Thiells, N.Y., had been driving southbound on the northbound lane of the Tappan Zee Bridge shortly before 9 p.m. when he struck Ayeh-Brachie's vehicle, causing it to roll multiple times before coming to a stop on its roof.

The collision triggered a pileup when a third vehicle, driven by Juan Robles, 34, of the Bronx, swerved to avoid Schechel's SUV and hit Ayeh-Brachie's Nissan, driven by Newman Ayeh-Brachie, 57, of Hillcrest, N.Y.

A fourth driver then rear-ended Robles, while a fifth sideswiped Schechel's car.

Hannah Ayeh-Brachie was pronounced dead at the scene. The other injured victims were transported to Nyack Hospital, where they were said to be in serious and critical conditions, MYFOXNY.com reported.

No charges were filed in the incident but the accident closed the Rockland-bound side of the Tappan Zee for more than six hours overnight as police worked to clean up the mess.

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