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Head On Collision on Bear Mountain Parkway Sends Five to Hospital

Another car crash on the BMP resulted in at least one serious injury.

A head on collision on the Bear Mountain Parkway sent five people to Westchester Medical Center, one with a broken leg, Wednesday night.

A 20-year-old woman driving eastbound in a Hyundai was illegally attempting to pass a car in front of her when she crashed head on with a red Mercedes, driven by a 46- year-old Peekskill man, Peekskill Police Lieutenant Eric Johansen said. The woman, who is a Hudson resident, suffered a broken leg. She, her three male passengers and the other driver were all rushed to Westchester Medical Center for other injuries. Police did not have information on the other injuries, but said all involved were wearing seatbelts and both cars’ airbags deployed.

The accident occurred around 11:25 p.m. near the BMP’s intersection with Highland Avenue and Peekskill police, fire and EMS, and Mohegan Lake EMS responded to the call.

Both drivers were issued summonses for driving with suspended licenses. The police are still investigating the accident.

This accident comes less than three weeks after a Lake Peekskill man in a similar head on collision on the Bear Mountain Parkway just a mile east of last night’s accident.

Community members and local officials feel the state-owned parkway is unsafe and needs a barrier. Commenters on Patch have expressed outrage at the that occur on the parkway and they and the New York State Department of Transportation to install a barrier on the road. Since the DOT canceled a $60 million project that included the installation of a barrier in 2008, it has said that the any time soon.

The DOT investigates serious accidents on state-owned roads and makes safety improvements if they find that road geometrics caused or contributed to the accident.But when accidents are caused by human error, like in this case of a driver illegally passing another car, the DOT will most likely not make any significant safety changes.

The more accidents that occur the more likely it is for the DOT to monitor the Bear Mountain Parkway and for it to be added to a priority investigation list, which could help the DOT to obtain funding for safety improvements. But the list is compiled by accident statistics alone, so only the top 60 or 70 most dangerous roads (as measured by severity of accidents and fatalities) are monitored once they get to the top of the list. The BMP has not been on the list since at least 2007, a DOT spokesperson said.

Stay with Patch for updates on the police investigation into last night's accident.

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paula December 29, 2011 at 04:20 PM
"but when accidents are caused by human error, like in this case of a driver illegally passing another car, the DOT often can do nothing to make the road safer." Wouldn't installing a barrier keep these idiots from illegal passing? Yes.
Liz December 29, 2011 at 04:25 PM
Is this dumb girl out of her mind!?!?! Just 3 weeks after a good friend is killed because of stupidity and neglagence this girl wants to drive like an idiot and put more lives in danger!Unbelieveable!
Liz Giegerich December 29, 2011 at 04:25 PM
Sorry. I should have clarified that more. The DOT will make small changes, like add a stop sign or change the speed limit, if it is determined that road geometrics caused or contributed to an accident. But if an accident is clearly caused by a driver breaking the law, the DOT is less likely, or will not, make any changes to the road to make it safer.
Karen Kelsch December 29, 2011 at 04:30 PM
This highway needs a barrier -- it is a dangerous highway and people drive too fast on it. But just as important is how do we keep people off the road that have suspended licenses, no license at all, no insurance, etc. This is a huge problem because people feel they can get in a car and drive with none of the credentials required to do so.
Richard Simmons December 29, 2011 at 04:58 PM
You can add all the barriers and put in place all the speed/safety regulations you want, the bottom line is accidents will still happen and people will still be killed. Putting barriers on that road can help reduce the amount of head on collisions but it will cause a nightmare for emergency services to get to the scene, a vehicle accident happens and the lanes are blocked, traffic backs up, unable to pass, emergency crews now need to either enter the scene farther down the parkway (slowing response times) or close the parkway and enter in the wrong direction (extremely dangerous and manpower intensive) People need to take safety into their own hands and drive like normal law abiding citizens.
Jeanne Gilholm December 29, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Thank God no one was killed. Idena, I'm very sorry you lost your younger brother. It must be a rough enough time for you. I just wish everyone would slow down just enough to use their brain before doing something stupid. You see people taking crazy chances in their cars every day on the road. It's sad.
SPK December 29, 2011 at 08:42 PM
All the barriers and their cost will not prevent stupid driving Lucky there was not another fatality
Jill Gertz December 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM
For years a good portion of Peekskill's population has been driving without a license - or a fraudulent license (many illegal immigrants used to be able to buy them ($1100) from DMV at Yonkers etc. The penalty for driving without a license is usually around $200 so its not taken as a serious crime by offenders. Not moving a car for street sweeping can be treated as a more serious crime than driving without documents.
Frank J December 30, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Another day and another accident on the BMP. Most people only hear of the ones serious enough to make the paper or local news. I live near the BMP and when I first moved in some 8 years ago I was stunned by how many accidents I was seeing. It's truly amazing there aren't a lot more dead than there are. Some of the readers seam to think that attributing the cause to neglect, driver error or stupidity gives the state a pass to not address the problem. The truth however is that engineering prevention such as barriers do prevent stupidity from acting out. In the most recent case had there been a barrier there the female driver would not have been physically able to attempt to pass a slower vehicle and thus there would be no accident, no injuries and no story. If you ran a business that had as many serious accidents as the BMP, you would be facing jail time, yet the State continues this inane debate. As they say in the sneaker ads, "just do it".
peekskillman December 30, 2011 at 03:36 PM
this collisioin should not even be labeled an "accident". According to the news reports, both drivers were behind the wheel with suspended licenses, and the woman was trying to pass illegally over a double yellow line. Clearly thought out acts, the driving and passing maneuver. Neither should have been on the road at all. Fortunately, none of the innocents in the cars wsere severely injured.
Lisa Donadio December 30, 2011 at 06:45 PM
This highway terrifies me in normal conditions. I couldn't even imagine trying to illegally pass someone on it. I only use it when I have no other choice, otherwise I will drive extra miles and use the TZ. I understand the complications of installing a barrier for emergency vehicles but something needs to be done here. We need to get these suspended license drivers OFF THE ROAD!
dirk dominick January 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The article was complete enough as originally written. However, statistics have a margin of error known as standard deviation which decrease with the size of the same data. Taking DOT in its own words, this means the more accidents and deaths the more reliable the data and the more confirmation that any public money used for improvement will be well spent. DOT totally ignores in their assessment human nature, that is risk taking. They should also compare the incentive of drivers to take risks on the road in which the accidents occur. Bear Mountain Parkway where the accident occured is an open invitiation to sin for the young or frustrated driver: relatively flat, slow moving local traffic, few cops and fast cars. Any insurance actuary would take both factors, physical and moral, into account if asked to determine a premium for someone driving the BMP. Why doesn't DOT? Probable Answer: "It would cost too much and there are so many roads".

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