Charges to be reduced, dismissed in fatal wrong-way crash

Charges will be reduced and dismissed against a driver who was involved in a wrong-way crash on the Tappan Zee Bridge that killed a mother of four.



Michael Schechel, 69, faces charges of criminally negligent homicide for the July 2013 crash. Schechel reportedly suffered from a respiratory illness and had been taking medications at the time of the crash.



Hannah Ayeh Brachie, of Hillcrest, died at the scene. Her husband was severely injured.



Her family expressed disbelief over news that charges would be dismissed. "There's no justice. There has never been justice," said Clem Yeboah, the victim's cousin. "Isn't he responsible for those actions? Shouldn't the system hold him responsible?"



After conducting an investigation with state police, the Rockland district attorney asked a judge on Monday to dismiss the charges, saying that there was no criminality.



Schechel's attorney called the accident a "tragedy," but he said he was glad that the district attorney conducted a thorough investigation.



Schechel wasn't in court. The judge didn't formally dismiss his charges Monday, but he said that he could do that during the next court date, which is in October.


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