SCARSDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A woman was killed and two other people were badly hurt in a wrong-way crash on the Hutchinson River Parkway early Sunday.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, police said as of last Sunday, it was too early to confirm whether drugs or alcohol were involved.
Following the crash, a mangled, twisted husk was all that was left of the gray sport-utility vehicle that Westchester County police confirmed was headed south in the northbound lanes of the Hutchinson Parkway early Sunday morning.
Police said the woman was driving a Kia Sorrento with a female passenger going the wrong way on the highway near the Weaver Street exit in Scarsdale around 4:30 a.m. when she collided head-on with a Land Rover heading northbound.
Responding units pronounced the driver dead at the scene. The passenger in the Sorrento was undergoing surgery late Sunday and remained in critical condition.
The driver of the Land Rover — a man in his 30’s — is in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
A third vehicle – a black sedan – apparently swerved into the woods to avoid the smashed vehicles. The driver of the sedan was not hurt.
“I heard a horrible crash,” said one Scarsdale resident named Evan. “Within a minute or so after that, I heard a second really loud crash, and then I called 911.”
Evan said he was letting his dog out when he heard the impact.
“It’s not surprising at all,” added gas station employee Joseph Ortiz. “It’s happened many times.”
Ortiz works at the gas station on the Hutch just north of the crash site. He took photos of the wreckage.
“Both doors on the driver’s side, including the back — all gone. The engine — gone,” he said. “You could see shoes, clothing still visible.”
Stephen Goldman said traffic was backed up into his Scarsdale neighborhood all day following the accident.
“It was chaos!” he said.
There have been multiple wrong-way crashes on Westchester County roads in recent years, leading for some to call for increased signage and other safety improvements.
“Anything they can do to make the roads safer would be a great thing,” Evan said. “It’s a real tragedy what happened here last night.”
“The signs aren’t good enough,” Goldman said. “You know it is confusing when you get on the highway the signs are very vague.”
Investigators spent hours scouring the scene for evidence – taking measurements and trying to determine exactly how it happened. The northbound side of the parkway was shut down for 11 hours while investigators were on the scene.
Late Sunday, investigators did not know where the woman got on the parkway going the wrong direction.