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Fred Stabbert III | Democrat

Dozen of first responders converged on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle vehicle accident on the median on Route 17 in Liberty Saturday morning. Personal items of the victims are strewn on the roadway as responders attend to the injured. The eastbound traffic can be seen backing up.

Driver killed in Route 17 accident in Liberty

By Kathy Daley
LIBERTY — September 28, 2010 — A 23-year-old woman remains in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center after a Saturday morning accident on Route 17 near Exit 100 in Liberty that took the life of her mother.
Police, firefighters and ambulance corps workers poured to the scene of the fatal car crash caused by a rear-tire blowout, according to state police.
“We don’t know what caused the blowout itself — it could have been anything: a faulty tire or hitting a bump that bent the rim,” said State Police Investigator Michael Orrego of the Liberty barracks. “The tire explodes, making the car hard to handle. In this case, it rolled over three times and landed upright in the median.”
Evelyn Tapia, age 23, of Mamaroneck was airlifted to the Westchester hospital with severe head trauma by a Catskill Regional Medical Center helicopter, which landed on Rte. 17.
Her mother, the driver of the 2003 black Ford Explorer, Yolinda Syvia, 54, also of Mamaroneck, was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Alan Kesten. Orrego said she had suffered massive head injuries.
The two women and three other family members were on their way to SUNY Delhi to visit Syvia’s daughter, who is a student there. The car was traveling westbound in the left hand lane at 8:30 a.m. when the accident occurred.
Passengers Abraham Tapia, 55, of White Plains and husband of Syvia, was taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris, as were Luis Rivera, 22, of Mamaroneck. Both men were treated for minor injuries.
A 5-month-old boy, Aiden Rivera, was unhurt.
Investigator Orrego said speed was not a factor in the tragic accident. “[Syvia] was traveling a speed consistent with traffic,” he said. Family members all wore seatbelts. The baby was in a proper car seat in the back, flanked by his mother, Evelyn Tapia, and his grandfather, Abraham Tapia.
The car was traveling in the left-hand lane when the tire exploded and Syvia lost control, Orrego said.
A Nassau County police officer was the first to phone 911 after witnessing the crash from his car on Route 17.
Multiple calls followed from other drivers.
Police closed the road until about 11 a.m., detouring traffic onto Ferndale Road at exit 101.
Both women had to be removed from the caved-in vehicle with the “jaws of life” extractor tool.
State police were assisted by the Liberty Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Liberty Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Liberty Fire Department.

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