Wrong Way Driver On I-95 Charged With Manslaughter

Almost two years to the day of the wrong way fatal accident on the Taconic Parkway that killed 8, on July 24, 2011, Tanisha Gomez, a 26 year old resident of East Stroudsburg, PA drove northbound in the southbound lanes of I-95. Ms. Gomez’ 2011 Chevrolet HHR minivan struck a 2005 Nissan approximately one half mile south of the New Rochelle toll plaza. The accident killed the passenger in the Nissan, Reginald Lee of East Orange , NJ, and the driver, Mark Toppin suffered a broken leg, among other injuries. Ms. Gomez is being charged with second degree manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a maximum of a $5,000 fine under the New York State Penal Law.

Mr. Toppin was taken to Jacobi Hospital and listed in fair condition on Monday. Blood samples have not yet been disclosed as to whether Ms. Gomez was intoxicated at the time of the accident. It appears that the accident occurred within 2 minutes of notification to state police of the wrong way driver.

Sunday’s crash was almost exactly two years after the now well documented accident involving Diane Schuler, who on July 26, 2009, drove southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic, colliding head on with a car heading northbound in the left lane, and killing Ms. Schuler, her 2 year old daughter, her three nieces ages 5,7 and 8, and the three men in the other vehicle. The only survivor of the crash was Ms. Schuler’s 5 year old son Brian.

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