New York State Thruway Authorities have released the names of the two men who were killed Friday in the 4-vehicle collision that occurred that morning on I-87 around Exit 14B. 20 year-old Juan Soto of Queens, the passenger of the box truck going northbound which crashed through the guardrail and into the tractor-trailer, died at the scene while the driver, 33 year-old Ramburan Humakaar, also of Queens, died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern after being cut from the cabin. The interstate looked more like a parking lot as traffic was locked up for nearly nine hours and only began letting up in the early afternoon. The 43 year-old driver of the tractor-trailer was also treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in serious but stable condition.
I-87 in Airmont has been in gridlock since the early afternoon and traffic diverted to Route 17 after a major accident spanning both lanes took the lives of at least two people. The accident occurred just before Exit 14B between a tractor trailer, two box trucks, and a passenger vehicle though officials have not specified which vehicle initiated the accident. One driver was pronounced dead at the scene while another was cut from their truck and transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern where they were pronounced dead. All Southbound lanes and one Northbound lane are closed at this time as officials work to clear the wreckage and piece together the investigation. Stay tuned to WRCR for updates on your Hudson Valley Traffic.
According to a police a driver was killed in a head on crash in Orange County on Thursday night, following a high speed chase. Witnesses on the scene on Route 17A in the village of Florida stated that the blue sedan was going upwards of 100 MPH when it came to a road block and swerved, hitting a minivan before colliding head on with a black pickup truck. The driver of the sedan was killed instantly and only minor injuries were reported with the others involved. Police and first responders declined to comment on the number of people involved or the identities of either driver. The State Police conducted an investigation and accident reconstruction that closed the area for nearly four hours.
The New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line is currently suspended while police investigate a car-train crash in Emerson, New Jersey. Details are still coming in, but according to NorthJersey.com one man was killed around 5:45 this morning when the 5:10 AM train out of Spring Valley struck his vehicle on the tracks near the Lincoln Boulevard crossing. Officials could not confirm any injuries, other than the death of the 88-year old man who has not been identified, but trains have stopped running in either direction for the time being. New Jersey Transit and private buses are cross-honoring passes and tickets.
According to Rockland officials the county will be taking on a $12.5 million project to rebuild Forshay Road in Ramapo, between Viola and Willow Tree Roads. The federal government is paying for 8% of the cost, the state for 15% and the county is responsible for 5%. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger stated last week, that the plan has been in discussion for nearly ten years and construction will finally be started on the crumbling street that leads to College Road. Forshay Road has faced traffic problems in recent years, and according to Highway Superintendent Skip Vezzetti crews will add a left hand turn lane onto Viola Road, as well as a roundabout at Willow Tree and Forshay Roads. Officials stated that they will also be repairing drainage systems and will add signs, sidewalks, and new traffic lights. A vote for more money for the project will take place in the Legislature on August 4.
The New York State Department of Education held a press conference on Tuesday where Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced the appointment of a monitor for the East Ramapo School District. Speaking at the crowd of parents and students packed into the Cultural Arts Center at Rockland Community College Elia stood with members of the Board of Regents including Chancellor Merryl Tisch, as well as East Ramapo School Board President Yehuda Weissmandl and announced former Chancellor of New York City Schools Dennis Walcott as the new monitor for the district. Walcott will be working on a three person team, Dr. Monica Georgefield an expert in the fields of teaching learning and school turn around, and Dr. John Sipple an expert in finance and education policy, who will be in the district starting immediately to speak with officials, teachers, parents, and their children about the issues that have been plaguing the schools. According to Elia the team of monitors do not have veto power, but will have instant access to the state’s resources, stating “There is clear evidence that for many years the district has bot adequately served the needs of its public school students.”
Clarkstown officials stated on Tuesday night that they will be requesting a building ban that would put a hold on residential development for six months. Supervisor Alex Gromack spoke at a press conference along with council members Stephanie Hausner and Shirley Lasker, where he stated the proposal was to prevent overdevelopment in the growing Rockland town, and would give the Planning Board more time to review zoning changes to help protect current property values. According to officials at the press conference the Ramapo building project at Pascack Ridge on the border of Clarkstown and the expansion of the Anellotech plant, raised concerns about regulating zoning laws and maintaining the “character” of the town’s residential areas.
According to Rockland County officials three cases of Legionnaire’s Disease have been confirmed since July 1. On Friday the second patient was diagnosed and his place of employment, Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corporation in Orangeburg was shut down while officials inspected and cleaned the cooling system. The Legionella bacteria is spread through warm water, such as is found in air conditioning and heating ventilation systems. Though it is not clear if the worker got the bacteria from Chromalloy, the company shut down and completely cleaned the five cooling systems and hot tubes, reopening on Monday morning. In one of the other two cases, County Communications Director Scott Salotto stated the patient works in the South Bronx, where Legionella has been found in multiple buildings, which are the cause of 113 cases and 12 deaths so far. According to the Rockland Health Department those having symptoms similar to Legionnaire’s should get checked out immediately. The disease presented with a cough, fever, muscle aches, and shortness of breath, but those not infected shouldn’t be alarmed, as it can’t be caught by contact with a patient, only through breathing it in a vapor form. The three cases in Rockland County are not connected to each other and all patients are recovering well.
A former Rockland politician was sentenced on Friday on charges of wire fraud and extortion. Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin was arrested in 2013 for accepting a $5,000 bribe in exchange for political favors from a business man who was working as an informant with the FBI. In April Jasmin was found guilty of those charges, and on Friday was sentenced in White Plains Federal Court to four years in prison, which will begin on November 2. She was also charged a fine of $20,000. Judge Colleen McMahon stated that the prosecution’s requested ten years in prison was excessive, but prison time was necessary for the crimes committed.
Crews will be repaving Western Highway in Blauvelt. From Mountain View to Erie Street the Southbound lanes will be closed today.