Wrong-way crash on Whitestone Expressway near Ulmer Street claims two lives and injures others in Queens

Two men were killed in a head-on collision this morning on the Whitestone Expressway, prompting the temporary closure of the expressway.

In a tragic turn of events early Thursday morning, a wrong-way collision on the Whitestone Expressway near Ulmer Street claimed the lives of two men, ages 25 and 45. CBS News informed that the southbound lanes were temporarily closed, leading to expected delays as the accident investigation unfolded.

The crash, which occurred around 2:15 a.m., involved a black Honda Pilot traveling in the opposite direction, ultimately colliding with a Honda HRE. Among the victims, the deceased included the driver of one vehicle and a passenger from the other. Adding to the severity, a 35-year-old woman from the Honda Pilot is battling life-threatening injuries, while a 26-year-old man was thrown from the car but remains in stable condition.

These accidents are unfortunately not uncommon in Queens, which holds the grim title of being the deadliest county for drivers in New York City. The challenge of addressing traffic accidents looms large for Mayor Eric Adams, especially in light of the ambitious “Vision Zero” road safety initiative. Introduced in 2014 by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, the plan aimed to ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists with a target of zero fatalities by 2024. However, recent NYPD statistics paint a concerning picture: cyclist fatalities have surged by 260% in just the first half of 2023 and a staggering 325% since the Vision Zero plan’s inception in 2014. Disturbingly, many of these incidents involve drivers who flee the scene.

New York authorities continue to emphasize their zero-tolerance stance against reckless behaviors such as speeding and driving under the influence. “We remind the public that there is zero tolerance for drivers speeding and/or getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs,” an NYPD spokesperson stated.