Tappan Zee Accident Suicide Attempt? Wrong Way Driver Michael Schechel Kills One, Injures Four [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 24, 2013 1:12 PM EDT

Tappan Zee accident
A Tappan Zee accident Tuesday killed 56-year-old Hannah Aye Brachie. Witnesses say wrong-way driver Michael Schechel was on a suicide mission. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A Tappan Zee accident Tuesday night killed one woman and injured four when a wrong way driver travelling along I-87 struck another vehicle. The chain reaction involved a total of five cars.

The multi-vehicle accident occurred Tuesday night at approximately 9 p.m.; 69-year-old Michael Schechel of Thiells, New York, was behind the wheel of a Ford Explorer SUV when he struck the Nissan of 57-year-old Newman Ayeh Brachie of Hillcrest. Brachie's vehicle rolled over several times from the crash before resting on its roof on the middle lane of the northbound side of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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The catastrophic Tappan Zee accident caused a chain-reaction as other cars swerved to avoid the debris. Five vehicles were involved in the crash. First responders rushed to help the wounded involved in the collision. The northbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge were closed for six hours while New York State Police investigated the accident. Unfortunately, 56-year-old Hannah Aye Brachie, a passenger in Newman Ayeh Brachie's Nissan, died at the scene.

Michael Schechel, the wrong-way driver responsible for the Tappan Zee accident, is hospitalized and was interviewed by troopers at the scene. However, troopers still do not understand why the incident occurred. According to blood work, Schechel was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Other witnesses described the horror of watching Schechel travel the wrong way at top speed. Witness Doreen Ciborowski was travelling northbound on the center lane when she saw Schechel's white SUV racing towards her.

“He had his lights on and he was beeping at me and I could not believe what I was seeing,” Ciborowski said. “He was speeding, I want to say over 60 miles per hour, because he flew right by me.”

“All I thought to myself is this guy’s on a suicide mission,” Ciborowski continued. “Either that, or he’s high or drunk.”

Witness Christian Evans also recalled the incident. “It was weird, he kept coming at me. It was like we were playing ‘chicken’ for that 30 seconds. I saw him. He didn’t make an attempt to move his car. I was trying to get his attention. I [leaned] on my horn. He didn’t make any attempt to move or brake.”

No arrests have been made at this time. Learn more about the Tappan Zee accident in the video below:

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