November 2007 has been a treacherous month on the Bronx River Parkway in New York. On November 13, 2007, we did a report “Fatal Accident on the Bronx River Parkway…” describing the New York fatal car crash in which a Yonkers couple, Bernard and Phyllis Cecere, was killed when their vehicle was struck by an apparently speeding car driven by 19 year old Justin Martinez near Oak Street in Yonkers.
On November 26, 2007, an Orange County man was killed and a Peekskill woman seriously injured in a nearly head on collision on the Bronx River Parkway just north of the Virginia Road exit. On a curvy section of the roadway heading southbound, Dawn Young was driving a 2004 Jeep Liberty when she apparently crossed the double yellow line, colliding with a 2005 Mazda being driven by Gerald Wolfe, who died from his injuries at Westchester Medical Center. Ms. Young’s injuries are not considered life threatening. This was second fatal accident in the exact same location of the Parkway; back in October of 1999, three people were killed when a carjacking suspect at the wheel of a stolen Cadillac veered onto the southbound side of the Parkway near Virginia Road and struck the vehicle of a Chappaqua couple on their way home from church. Ironically, after several years of delay due to federal government regulations requiring the installation of storm water basins, construction work was scheduled to begin the same day of the most recent fatal car crash to install center barriers from Cemetery Road at exit 23 to Lafayette Avenue at Exit 27. However, work was delayed due to the inclement weather conditions.
The Westchester County Police have indicated that it is too early to determine if alcohol, drugs, the poor weather conditions, or slippery roads were factors in the fatal car accident.
This writer travels this section of the Bronx River Parkway every day returning home from our White Plains, New York office, and I have frequently observed drivers making unsafe lane changes, speeding, and driving recklessly where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour, the road is curvy, with a large grade over a short distance, and cars are simply traveling too fast for the dangerous road configuration. Thus, the Parkway safety improvements, although too late to save Mr. Wolfe’s life, can’t come soon enough. The construction is scheduled to start immediately and be completed in June of 2009.