TUXEDO, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New details have been released by investigators after a fatal wrong-way crash on the New York State Thruway Tuesday morning. All lanes on the southbound side of the Thruway between Exits 16 and 15a were closed after the crash, which was first reported at about 1:30 a.m. Reconstruction efforts kept the lanes shuttered until shortly after 7 a.m.
State Police said a car tried to drive north in the southbound lanes between the Harriman and Sloatsburg exits. That car collided head-on with another headed south, killing both drivers. There were no passengers in either vehicle.
Troopers have determined that George Gonzalez, 68, of Dumont, New Jersey, was the wrong-way driver. Gonzalez was driving a 2017 Toyota Rav-4 at the time of the crash, investigators said.
Gonzalez allegedly drove into the path of a 2022 Nissan Altima being driven by Yehuda Weinstock, 67, of Chester, causing his Toyota to burst into flames. Both drivers were pronounced dead and removed from the scene by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office.
No further details were released and it has not been revealed if police believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash. Troopers were assisted on the scene by Tuxedo and Sterling Forest Fire Departments, Kiryas Joel Volunteer EMS, Jan’s Med-A-Car Towing, and Thruway Traffic Safety.