Child dies in crash on New York State Thruway

(08/25/03) YONKERS - One child is dead and another is clinging to life, victims of a car accident that landed seven people in the hospital. An SUV crashed on the New York State Thruway in Yonkers around 6:30 Saturday night. Police said the person behind the wheel was an unlicensed pregnant woman.

Police said there were 11 people in a Nissan Pathfinder at the time of the crash. Most of them were put on stretchers at the scene. Two of them were flown by helicopter to local hospitals. Two children, ages 8 and 15, were treated for head trauma; an 8-year-old girl later died of her injuries, and a 15-year-old girl remains in critical condition.

Investigators said the driver, who was pregnant, was in the left lane when she lost control of the truck. The driver crossed over three lanes and hit the concrete divider, coming to a rest at the Mile Square Road exit on the Thruway in Yonkers, said police.

Troopers said the family were on their way from Manhattan to Nyack, and they were planning to drop off some of the children. Police said some of the kids were sitting in a cargo area in the back of the SUV, and some of the passengers were not wearing seat belts.

Investigators believed speed was a factor, and alcohol and drugs are not considered factors at this time. Police said charges may be filed against the driver of the SUV, 27-year-old Mildred Gonzalez of Manhattan. Hawthorne police have asked anyone who saw the Nissan Pathfinder before the accident to call them at (914) 769-2600.

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