Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Texting led to Sunday's Thruway crash

A four-car crash that sent nine people to the hospital and tied up traffic in Rockland County for hours was caused by a woman texting while driving, police said Monday.
Nicole Fischman, 22, of Randolph, N.J., was charged with texting while driving, a violation, state police said.
She was driving a white 2006 Honda south on the New York State Thruway shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday. Her car jumped a guardrail between exits 15 and 14B and collided with three other vehicles headed in the opposite direction, police said.
Fischman suffered head and neck injuries. Eight other people, including at least six teenagers and children traveling in the other cars, were injured.
Rescuers said it was a miracle no one was killed.
The crash caused massive delays on the Thruway in both directions on a summer Sunday afternoon, usually a busy time on the roads.
Ramapo police stopped cars from entering the Thruway in Airmont and local roads, including Airmont Road and Route 59, quickly became congested.
The issue of distracted driving — especially among young drivers — is becoming recognized as a significant road hazard.
In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
That same year, 18 percent of crashes involving injuries were tied to distracted drivers, the agency reported.
All victims of Sunday’s crash on the Thruway are expected to recover.
Fischman was taken by ambulance to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J.
One of the cars she struck was occupied by a Staten Island mother and her three sons, police said.
All were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern for treatment of injuries described as not life-threatening.
A second car was occupied by a man driving his three grandchildren from Monsey to Monroe. The grandfather suffered a possible concussion.
He and the three children were taken by Hatzolah Ambulance to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
A third car was damaged, but the driver was not injured.

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