Drivers identified in fatal Thruway crash; Latham woman, 58, killed

Emergency personnel work Thursday at the scene of a fatal accident on I-90 westbound between exits 24 and 25.
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Emergency personnel work Thursday at the scene of a fatal accident on I-90 westbound between exits 24 and 25.

COLONIE — State police have identified the person who died in Thursday’s fatal Thruway crash as Bernice A. Rostocki, 58, of Latham.

Rostocki was the driver and sole occupant of a Toyota RAV4 that was struck head-on by a tractor-trailer that went out of control and crossed the median driven by Jesula Estivente, 28, of Uniondale, on I-90 between exits 24 and 25 on Thursday around 10 a.m.

Troopers say that Estivente was traveling eastbound and was attempting to change from the center lane to the left lane when the tractor-trailer crossed the rumble strips and she overcorrected, losing control of the truck.

The tractor-trailer drove through the median and center guardrail, entered the westbound travel lanes, and struck Rostocki’s vehicle head-on. The tractor-trailer came to rest after it jackknifed and struck an embankment on the north shoulder of the Thruway, state police said.

Rostocki suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Albany County coroner before being transported to Ellis Hospital pending an autopsy.

Estivente was transported to Albany Medical Center, where she was evaluated by a drug recognition expert and was later released.

A passenger of the tractor trailer, Albert P. Kastner, 50, of Chatham, was also transported to Albany Medical for non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation into the fatal accident is continuing, state police said.

Following the crash all westbound traffic was diverted off I-90 at Exit 24 and the eastbound left lane was closed on until accident reconstruction was completed. All lanes were reopened by 3:30 p.m.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Albany Fire Department and Emergency Services, as well as state Thruway Traffic Safety and Maintenance crews.

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