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Man Arraigned In I-684 Wrong-Way Crash That Killed Woman

Zachary L. Tokson
Zachary L. Tokson Photo Credit: New York State Police

An Armonk man and former Scarsdale resident was arraigned Wednesday on a 14-count indictment following a wrong-way crash on I-684 in Bedford on Dec. 13 in which a Mount Kisco woman was killed.

At approximately 5:49 am, on Dec. 13, 24-year-old Zachary Tokson of Seymour Lane in Armonk was driving a white Lexus SUV northbound in the southbound lanes of I-684 within the Town of Bedford, Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty said.

Tokson, along with a front-seat female passenger, collided head on with the victim who was driving a gray Ford Focus station wagon, McCarty said.

Elena Lopez, 64, of Mount Kisco victim died instantly on impact from multiple blunt force trauma injuries while Tokson suffered a laceration over his right eye and his passenger, who survived, suffered broken ribs, a dislocated femur, along with lacerations to her liver and spleen, McCarty said.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the defendant had been drinking hours earlier at a bar in Brewster, McCarty said.

After leaving the bar and having stopped for some food, the defendant and his passenger proceeded south on I-684. They stopped at the Bedford rest area to take a nap. The defendant woke up and began driving the wrong way on I-684 for approximately 1.1 miles prior to the collision, McCarty said. 

A search of his vehicle revealed a closed, empty bottle of whiskey and a mixed alcohol drink inside a closed soda bottle, McCarty said.

He was placed under arrest by New York State Police. 

Tokson pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Tokosn's bail, which was set at $100,000 bond in local court, remains in effect. His next court date is July 20 , 2016. 

He faces an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment, the maximum term may not be less than 3 years nor more than 25 years, and the minimum term may not be less than 1 year nor more than one-third of the maximum term. 

As a result, the least sentence is 1 to 3 years, and the greatest sentence is 8 and one-third to 25 years. 

McCarty announced that Tokson was charged with: 

  • Two counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Class B felonies, 
  • One count of manslaughter in the second degree, a Class C felony, 
  • Two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, Class D felonies,
  • Two counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, Class E felonies, 
  • One count of driving while intoxicated per se, an unclassified misdemeanor, 
  • One count of driving while intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor, 
  • One count of reckless driving, an unclassified misdemeanor, 
  • Three counts of obedience to and required traffic-control devices, violations of the vehicle and traffic law, 
  • One count of driving wrong way, a violation of the vehicle and traffic law in the death of Elena Lopez. 

Assistant District Attorney Nicholas DiConstanzo of the Superior Court Trial Division is prosecuting the case.

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