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DA dropping charges against wrong-way driver in fatal 2013 crash on NY bridge

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NEW CITY, New York — The Rockland County district attorney says criminal charges will be dismissed in the case of a man who drove the wrong way on the Tappan Zee Bridge and caused a fatal crash.

District Attorney Tom Zugibe (ZOO'-gih-bee) says the evidence failed to show that the driver, Michael Schechel (SHEH'-kuhl) of Thiells (theelz), New York, acted deliberately. Zugibe says Schechel had taken prescribed medication.

Schechel was charged last year with criminally negligent homicide.

The five-vehicle pileup in July 2013 killed Hannah Ayeh-Brachie of Pomona, New York, a passenger in a car her husband was driving.

The accident closed the northbound state Thruway for hours. Motorists on the 3-mile-long bridge in the New York suburbs got out of their cars and watched as responders treated the injured and investigated the scene.

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