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New York State Found Liable For Death Of Motorist On Snowy I-81 Bridge

A New York State appellate court has come to a decision regarding a weather-related fatal car accident that took place on an icy bridge outside of Syracuse on Interstate 81. In the accident, driver William Gardner died - just 36 hours after a similar fatal accident took place in the same place and for the same reason. The day before, former mayor of East Syracuse Jason Rhoades also died of injuries sustained in a car accident on the bridge.

In the NY wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed by Gardner's family, the court ruled that New York State was responsible for Gardner's death, as it should have removed the hazardous snow bank from the I-81 bridge following the first fatal accident. The highway department should have known that the snow bank would be a continuing danger and removed it, the judge stated.

In both fatal car accidents, the vehicles side on the icy bridge and then ran into a snow bank pushed against the bridge's concrete barrier. The snow bank acted as a ramp, allowing the cars to launch off of the bridge and onto the roadway below.

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