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Yearlong fatal crash investigation leads to arrest

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– After a year of investigating, a New Jersey man is behind bars for allegedly causing a fatal car accident on the Palisades Interstate Parkway last April. Police on Tuesday said Valentino Merceda, 20 of Clifton, New Jersey was charged with second-degree manslaughter for the crash on April 13, 2023.

The night of the accident, state police responded to a three-car accident in the southbound lane of Palisades Interstate Parkway in the Town of Clarkstown, near exit 10. Police said Merceda was driving southbound in a 2001 BMW while Cyrus Silverio, 20 of Clifton, New Jersey, was also driving south at a high speed in his 1992 BMW.

Both Merceda and Silverio attempted to pass a 2024 Nissan Rouge on the exit ramp and merge into the right lane, colliding with each other. Police said the collision caused Silverio’s BMW to overturn, striking the Nissan Rouge, and a rock bridge abutment structure that connected the bridge to the ground. Police declared Silverio dead at the scene.

Merceda was arraigned in the Town of Clarkstown court and remanded to Rockland County Jail. His bail was set at $5,000 cash or $20,000 secured bond.

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