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Driver From Northern Westchester Charged With Murder For Fatal Wrong-Way I-287 Crash

An Amawalk man has been charged with murder for his role in a fatal I-287 wrong-way crash in Westchester.
An Amawalk man has been charged with murder for his role in a fatal I-287 wrong-way crash in Westchester. Photo Credit: Pixabay

An allegedly drunk driver from Northern Westchester involved in a wrong-way crash on I-287 that killed a father taking his teenage son’s friends to a basketball game is facing multiple murder charges.

Amawalk resident Jaime Paucar was indicted for murder and other charges in a wrong-way crash on the interstate in Harrison that left Ardsley residents Jordan Wachtell and his son’s friend, 17-year-old Eric Goldberg dead in January.

Specifically, Paucar was charged with:

  • Two counts of murder;
  • Three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide;
  • Two counts of manslaughter;
  • Assault.

Each of those charges are felonies.

Paucar was also charged with misdemeanor counts of:

  • Assault;
  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated;
  • Driving while intoxicated;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Leaving the scene without reporting property damage;
  • Leaving the scene without reporting a personal injury.

It is alleged that on Thursday, Jan. 30, Paucar drove his Jeep westbound in the left eastbound lanes on I-287 when he struck Wachtell’s BMW head-on. As a result, Wachtell and Goldberg were killed.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said that before the fatal collision, Paucar had been driving the correct direction on I-287 when he crashed into another vehicle. 

After leaving the scene of that crash and exiting I-287, Paucar re-entered I-287 heading westbound in the eastbound lanes. 

According to Scarpino, while driving on I-287 in the wrong direction for two and a half miles, Paucar caused three more collisions before ultimately striking the BMW head-on. 

The final crash caused the Jeep to roll over and come to rest in the center median.

Paucar, who was alone in his vehicle, was taken to the hospital as were the two surviving BMW passengers, Scarpino said. Paucar’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Scarpino made note that Paucar’s license had been suspended earlier.

Paucar, 50, was arraigned on Tuesday, Aug. 18 in Westchester County Court. Bail was set at $250,000 cash, $500,000 bond, or $1 million partially secured bond. Paucar is scheduled to appear back in court on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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