There has reportedly been a series of wrong-way crashes in the past year and a half on the New York State Thruway. The executive director of the Thruway authority confirmed that the authority, along with the New York State Police, is studying the situation. The executive director made his comments at a news conference held on the afternoon of Aug. 12 after a fatal motor vehicle accident took two lives on the Thruway earlier that morning.
The executive director prefaced his comments by saying that they believe that the area of the accident was clearly marked. He indicated that there were radar-activated wrong-way signs to keep drivers from making such mistakes in the most problematic areas. In the fatal car accident that morning, a 32-year-old New York City police officer on his way to work entered the Thruway in the wrong direction in Suffern and crashed head-on with an oncoming vehicle.
The NYPD verified that the man was likely on his way to work, and doubted that he would have been using alcohol. Police are looking into what medication the officer may have taken. They also wonder whether he may have simply made a mental error.
The NYPD reportedly said that he had quickly realized his mistake and was trying to pull over. The New York State Police heard from a witness who saw a vehicle stopped in the median of the Thruway, and another who saw a similar vehicle making a U-turn. The police are seeking any persons who may have witnessed the accident.
Nonetheless, the state police are reporting that he crashed his 2002 Dodge Dakota head-on into a 2003 Honda CRV driven by a 59-year-old man from Airmont, New York. Both drivers were dead at the scene of the motor vehicle accident. The victim was a widower who had just lost his wife to cancer a year ago. Despite speculative talk about wrong-way crashes on the Thruway, the decedent's estate likely has a viable wrongful death claim against the officer's estate.
Source: 7online.com, "2 DEAD IN WRONG-WAY CRASH THAT SHUT DOWN THRUWAY IN SUFFERN", Marcus Solis, Aug. 13, 2014