ARDSLEY, N.Y. -- Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), who is chair of the Westchester County Board of Legislators’ Infrastructure Committee, released a statement Thursday following Wednesday's accident in which a passenger vehicle broke through the guard rail of the Ashford Avenue Bridge and plunged to the ground below, resulting in the death of the driver, 21-year-old Christopher Seguinot of West Harrison:
“I am sure that most of you have already heard about Tuesday night’s fatal accident on the Ashford Avenue Bridge, or sat in the traffic jams resulting from the bridge’s closure for Wednesday morning’s rush hour," Shimsky said in the statement. "The exact circumstances of the accident are still under investigation by the Westchester County Police. But from what we know from the accident scene, excessive speed must have played a role."
Shimsky said while family, friends and neighbors began to mourn the untimely death of the 21-year-old driver, employees from the County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation spent hours inspecting the bridge, making sure that the damage caused by the accident did not create safety issues for the motoring public.
"The re-opening of the bridge by our county’s engineering staff can be viewed as a positive sign," Shimsky stated. "However, I am sure that some of you have lingering questions about the accident’s affect on the bridge, especially given its already weakened state and the violent manner in which its railing was torn off."
Shimsky said she would ask the County Public Works Commissioner about the extent of the needed repairs, when repairs will be scheduled, and the potential for future difficulties as a result of the accident.
“I would also like to review county protocols for disseminating unexpected road and bridge closures to the public," Shimsky's statement continued. "Had more people been notified before the morning rush hour, some of our residents might have been able to take alternate routes or adjust their plans, thereby avoiding the traffic tie-ups on Saw Mill River Road, the Ogden Avenue area, and other locations. As we look ahead to the main bridge rehabilitation project next spring, now is the time to make sure we finetune our public communication efforts."
“(Wednesday) morning’s traffic problems should serve to remind us all of the bridge’s importance to the people of this county, and the need to keep it in good working order.
"Also, there is no better time to remind the young drivers in our lives to always treat motor vehicles as the potentially deadly instruments they are.”