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Bedford Hills driver dies in parkway accident 


A fatal accident that occurred Saturday evening, Sept. 12, on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Bedford Hills is being investigated by the Westchester County Police Accident Investigation Team.

At about 7 p.m., a vehicle traveling northbound in the vicinity of Route 117 and Cherry Street struck the rear of another car, went off the road and struck a tree. The driver, who was ejected from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was alone in the car when the crash occurred, according to the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, which provided an account of the accident.

The deceased was identified as James S. Poli Jr., 37, of 235 Babbitt Road in Bedford Hills. 

Mr. Poli was driving a Volkswagen Passat and crashed into the rear of a Mercedes-Benz sedan. The Mercedes was driven by a female, 17, with a 17-year-old male passenger in the car. She told officers that she observed a car approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. It struck the rear of her car, spinning her car around and leaving it facing in the opposite direction. 

Mr. Poli’s vehicle went off the road and hit the tree. Mr. Poli was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by a Westchester EMS paramedic. Subsequent to his ejection the vehicle caught fire, and was extinguished by firefighters from the Bedford Hills Fire Department.

The two teens in the other vehicle were not injured. They were evaluated at the scene by EMS personnel, and transported to Bedford police headquarters, where their parents picked them up.

The northbound Saw Mill River Parkway was closed at Kisco Avenue for several hours after the crash while investigators worked at the scene. 

Westchester County Department of Public Safety spokesperson Kieran O’Leary thanked the fire and EMS personnel who assisted at the accident.

Mr. Poli was a longtime Bedford Hills resident and a member of the Bedford Hills Fire Department, according to an obituary announcement posted Thursday by Cassidy & Flynn Funeral Home. Services for Mr. Poli will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cassidy & Flynn, 288 East Main Street, Mount Kisco.

Jeff Morris is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where he covers the Town of Bedford and the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. Prior to joining the paper he was a reporter and columnist for the Lewisboro Ledger and a business magazine editor.

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