Police Reconstruct Feb. 26 Fatal Thruway Crash

One tractor-trailer missed Mark Becker, who had slowed down after a chain-reaction crash started on I-87. A second one did not.

Seven vehicles were involved in the cascading accident that killed one, injured 6 and closed the north lanes of I-87 yesterday near Woodbury. 

Both the Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to the scene. State police issued this statement:

The preliminary accident investigation revealed that a New York State Thruway plow truck was traveling north and pulled off the road on to the left shoulder due to smoke in the engine compartment.  

A second passenger car swerved out of the left lane due to limited visibility from the smoke and struck a third passenger vehicle.  A fourth vehicle (passenger car) traveling north in the left lane sideswiped the blade of the plow truck.  A fifth vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Prius operated by Mark G. Becker, 53, of Hillsdale, NJ, was traveling alone behind all the activity and slowed in the right lane, possibly to a stop.  A sixth vehicle (tractor trailer) swerved left, avoided the Prius, and slowed down.  A seventh vehicle (tractor trailer) traveling north in the right lane struck the Prius from behind which pushed it into the rear of the other tractor trailer.

Becker was pronounced dead by the Orange County Medical Examiner.  A total of six people were transported to St. Lukes Cornwall Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.  

No arrests were made in the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

Roadrunner February 28, 2014 at 08:24 AM
If this early accident reconstruction happened the way it says then what a shame the person killed was doing everything the right way by slowing down and staying to the right lane and killed so tragically. Very sad for all involved.
Genrl Quarters February 28, 2014 at 08:47 AM
I was almost involved in one of these things a few years back. I came upon several vehicles tangling it up in front of me and knew there would be no way to thread my way through the mayhem, so I quickly glanced in the mirror and saw other vehicles bearing down on the scene (including a few trucks). That's when I just bailed out right past the shoulder and onto the grass and watched other vehicles pile in to the mess. Seeing that it was all fender bender stuff with no likely injuries, I took off not wanting to get involved in something I was not a part of. Moral of the story.....if there's some open area like grass, go for it and get away from one of these NASCAR style big wrecks. Also, avoid purchasing small cars....they offer no protection.


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