Following the tragic Westchester County fatal car crash this past July, in which Diane Shuler killed herself and 7 others driving while intoxicated southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic Parkway, two other allegedly intoxicated drivers have driven the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway. First, in early September, 44 year old Bronx resident Gregorio Pena was arrested for driving two miles northbound in the southbound lanes of the Taconic in Yorktown. Pena allegedly had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20, more than two times the legal limit of .08 percent. Pena was charged with felony reckless endangerment and New York aggravated DWI.
On September 17, Henry M. Garcia, a nineteen year old unlicensed illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was found to have a BAC of 0.27 percent, more than three times the legal limit. Garcia was arrested after driving for six miles southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic, and was finally pulled over when he made a U-turn in Pleasantville. Mr. Garcia was also charged with DWI, aggravated DWI and felony reckless endangerment. His case is pending in Mount Pleasant.
Thankfully, there were no car accidents in either of the September wrong way driving arrests. However, the New York State Department of Transportation is taking action due to the open question: Why are so many drivers, (taking into account their intoxicated condition) driving the wrong way on this parkway? The State DOT will now install “Wrong Way” signs, as well as “Do Not Enter” and “One Way” signs at all exit and entrance ramps on the parkway by 2010. This measure follows federal transportation recommendations that have been in place since 2007.
Driving schools seem to concur that if someone is driving head on toward you in your lane, to avoid a serious car crash, you should try to veer off to the shoulder if possible. If there is no shoulder or this isn’t possible, try to steer into the median, since hitting a fixed object is preferable to a head on collision.
If you or a loved one is involved in a New York car crash, or any type of accident, contact the Westchester County car crash attorneys at the White Plains, New York Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633. We offer a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who will fight the insurance companies to obtain the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, medical bills and loss of enjoyment of life.