West Nyack accident shuts highway; firefighters cut open car to make rescue
BY BILL DEMAREST
WEST NYACK – A driver was briefly trapped in the wreckage of a two-car crash on the New York State Thruway that shut the southbound side of the highway near the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack Wednesday afternoon.
Three people were taken to Nyack Hospital following the accident that took place at about noon and chocked the Thruway until about 1 p.m., causing miles of jammed traffic that extended west to Spring Valley.
West Nyack Fire Chief Brian Ulrich said that when volunteer firefighters got the site of the wreck they found the driver of one of the two cars directly involved in the crash was trapped. He said firefighters were able to remove the driver’s door within a few minutes so a medical crew could assist the injured driver.
A passenger in the car was also injured. They were both taken to Nyack Hospital for treatment.
Ulrich said it appeared two cars collided and a third car was also damaged. The first car in the crash is believe to have hit the center median on the Thruway. The driver of the second car in the accident did not appear to be injured but was taken to Nyack Hospital for evaluation.
About 17 volunteers from the West Nyack Fire Department were at the accident scene, along with State Police, Rockland Paramedics and crews from Nyack Community Ambulance Corps, Nanuet Ambulance Corps and Congers-Valley Cottage Ambulance Corps.
This was the second accident in the same general area Wednesday.
At about 9 a.m. firefighters from Central Nyack and West Nyack were called out to help victims of an accident at Casper Hill Road just north of the Thruway in Valley Cottage. An ambulette overturned and landed on its side, trapping the driver and a wheelchair-bound passengers.
A paramedic from Rockland Paramedics used an ax was used to detach the windshield so it could be rolled open to rescue the driver and one passenger in the ambulette.