Michael Schechel, accused in fatal wrong-way crash on Tappan Zee Bridge, appears in court

Michael Schechel, 69, was charged with criminally negligent homicide, after allegedly driving his White Ford Explorer the wrong way on the span for more than a mile. (4/7/14)

SOUTH NYACK - A driver accused of causing a deadly five-car accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge made a brief court appearance today to face felony charges.

Michael Schechel, 69, was charged with criminally negligent homicide, after allegedly driving his white Ford Explorer the wrong way on the span for more than a mile.

Investigators say Schechel slammed head-first into a Nissan carrying 56-year-old Hannah Ayeh Brachie, of Hillcrest.

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The mother of four died at the scene.  Her husband, who was in the driver's seat, suffered severe injuries.

"I regret what happened,” he said.  “They are not here today. Otherwise, I wanted to apologize to them. That's all I have to say."

Schechel faces four years in prison if convicted.

His case has been adjourned until August.

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