Getting a Recovery for a Tragic Auto Accident; the Fatal Crash on the Taconic Parkway

On Sunday a mother driving her children and nieces had a terrible car accident on the Taconic State Parkway in Briarcliff Manor in Westchester County.  

She had entered the Parkway the wrong way and had proceeded in the wrong direction into a head-on collision.  Eight people were killed including four of the children in her car.

She had proceeded in the wrong direction about 1.7 miles into a head-on collision.   She was killed along with the four young children.  The total death toll was eight.  The lone survivor was her son.

      In the aftermath the State Police had done extensive investigation.  It appears that the woman might have been fatigued and ill and that her entry onto the exit ramp was due to inattention.  The exit ramp was clearly marked with “DO NOT ENTER” signs. 

Generally, after a fatal car crash the police will do an extensive investigation. 

However, it is essential that the family do its investigation as soon as possible in connection with a possible lawsuit, such as

  • obtain signed statements from witnesses;
  • photograph the scene;
  • interview the reporting police officers and EMS paramedics;
  • inspect and photograph the vehicles;
  • obtain news and media photographs and investigation; and
  • inspect the roadway to see if negligent design of the road was a cause of the accident.

The last point of negligent roadway design should be explored.  Although the burden of proving a case against either the State or City or County can be daunting, there have been cases where negligent roadway design has been the cause of the accident. 

In sum, early investigation is always necessary.

If you or a family member has been involved in a auto accident, please call me for free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to me at

Mark E. Seitelman, 7/29/09,


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