Police are still investigating a fatal crash in Orange County.

Troopers from the State Police barracks in Monroe and Haverstraw were called to the Palisades Parkway near Exit 18 in the town of Highlands, New York for a report of a crash at approximately 4:47am on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Palisades Interstate Parkway Photo Credit: Google (image captured December 2021) via Google Maps (June 2022)
Palisades Interstate Parkway Photo Credit: Google (image captured December 2021) via Google Maps (June 2022)

According to a written release from the New York State Police the preliminary investigation revealed that 67-year-old Hugo Vasquez from Spring Valley, New York was driving a 1998 Toyota Corolla southbound in the northbound lane when he hit a 2006 Toyota TC head-on.  Mr. Vasquez was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The driver of the Toyota TC was identified as 46-year-old Franklin Yanza-Zaruma, who was also from Spring Valley.  He was brought to Garnet Medical Center with injuries that police described as non-life-threatening.  His two passengers, whose names have not been officially released, were brought to Westchester Medical Center with injuries described as non-life-threatening as well.

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It is not believed that any other vehicles were involved in the collision.

The NYSP says that there were no signs of impairment prior to the collision and it is not known what caused Mr. Vasquez to allegedly drive the wrong way..

Police say that the investigation remains active at this time.  Witnesses, drivers with dashcam footage of the incident, or anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to call police.  Calls can be made to: Senior Investigator Carmen Goffredo or Investigator Eric Haydt with the New York State Police at: (845) 364.0200.

Regardless of the area in which an investigation or crime is taking place, anonymous calls, e-mail, and messages may also be left with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by calling: 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS), by visiting www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.

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