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Driver charged in multi-vehicle fatal on Tappan Zee

NEW CITY – A Theills man was arrested in connection with a July 23, 2013 accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge in which a Hillcrest woman was killed.

State Police charged Michael Schechel, 69, with criminally negligent homicide for causing an accident in which he drove the wrong way on the bridge.

Police said Schechel was southbound in the northbound lane on the Rockland County side when his car slammed head on into a vehicle driven by Newman Ayeh-Brachie, 57, of Hillcrest, causing it to roll over several times before coming to rest on its roof.  Hannah Ayeh-Brachie, 56, a mother of four, died.

A third vehicle was traveling north and swerved to miss Schechel’s car, but hit Ayeh-Brachie’s vehicle before coming to rest.

A fourth vehicle, also going north, was able to avoid striking Schechel’s car but rear ended the third vehicle. A fifth car side swiped Schechel’s car before coming to rest.

Schechel was arraigned and released pending a future court appearance.