Two men in their 60s — a 67-year-old rabbi from New York and a 68-year-old man from New Jersey — died when a car heading the wrong way on the New York State Thruway slammed head-on into another vehicle early Tuesday, leaving twisted wreckage across the highway, according to authorities and colleagues.
State Police responding to a crash on the highway in Orange County’s Tuxedo around 1 a.m. found Rabbi Yidel Weinstock, a beloved clergy member in Brooklyn who lives in Chester, and George Gonzalez, of Dumont, New Jersey, dead at the scene.
According to the preliminary investigation, Gonzalez was driving a Toyota north in the southbound lanes between exit 16 in Harriman and exit 15a in Sloatsburg when he slammed into Weinstock’s Nissan Altima. Flames engulfed the Toyota on impact.
The drivers were the only people in each car. Services were being held for Weinstock on Rodney Street in Williamsburg Tuesday.
All southbound lanes were shut down for hours overnight as authorities investigated. Traffic was being diverted at the Harriman exit. Get real-time transit updates from all your key commute sources here.