by Haley Burnside, Asst. Editor
A tragic accident occurred on the Cross Bronx Expressway on Dec. 27. The accident killed three people and left two others severely injured.
According to Highway District Commanding Officer Steven D’Ulisse, of the NYPD, the crash was caused by an 18-wheeler making a sudden stop on the eastbound side near Webster Avenue in Mount Hope.
A pickup truck with five male passengers attempted to quickly stop behind the 18-wheeler and was hit from behind by another semi-truck. The collision sent the pickup under the 18-wheeler, killing three of the five inside and leaving the other two critically injured.
The driver of the second semi-truck went to the hospital with scrapes and bruises. CBS2 interviewed driver Ernesto Cabrera from his bed at Barnabas Hospital.
“I slammed on my breaks but it was a slick road,” said Cabrera. “There was nothing I could do.”
Cabrera believes that there was another vehicle responsible for the entire accident, saying that there was a vehicle that slammed the breaks initially, causing the fatal chain reaction. The police were not able to obtain sufficient evidence to verify this claim.
In the chaotic collision another car, a Toyota Corolla, was pushed up onto the concrete median. The breach in the median caused traffic delays on both sides. All other drivers and passengers involved in the crash suffered minor injuries with the exception of the driver of the first 18-wheeler, who was unharmed in the incident.
The three deceased victims were identified by police. Henry Walker, a 51-year-old from New Jersey, and Khalil J. White, a 21-year-old from Pennsylvania, were both passengers in the pickup truck. The name of the third victim was not immediately released.
The other men in the car have since been released from the hospital according to ABC 7 NY.
Police believe that the accident was caused by weather and traffic. An investigation to determine other factors of the crash found that alcohol did not play a role.
The accident shut down traffic on the George Washington Bridge. The stoppage had commuters delayed up to 2 hours.
Frequent commuters on the Cross Bronx Expressway have voiced complaints about driving conditions.
Kaitlyn Von Runnen, a Manhattan College student, verifies that there are downsides to taking the Cross Bronx Expressway.
“There is usually no time of day that one can take the Cross Bronx Expressway without running into a traffic nightmare,” said Von Runnen. “When I travel to or from Manhattan College, I try to find alternative routes.”
Von Runnen continued to discuss the conditions of the Cross Bronx Expressway.
“What sets the Cross Bronx Expressway apart from other routes is the bumpy ride due to potholes spread throughout the expressway and the huge tractor trailers that ride alongside of you,” said Von Runnen.
The Long Island Rail Road provides an alternative route for students who do not drive, but after a derailment that occurred Jan. 4, this option may be discouraging to commuters.
Both the crash and the derailment serve as a reminder to students to exercise caution while commuting to and from campus.