WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – A person who was set afire Tuesday in a car crash on the Tappan Zee Bridge jumped into the Hudson River, then was rescued and taken to a hospital, a Westchester County official said.

Another person was killed in the crash, which shut down the Hudson River span for hours before and during the evening rush. Traffic backed up for miles into Westchester and Rockland counties on Interstates 87 and 287.

Susan Tolchin, chief adviser of Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano, said she was told by emergency workers that the person who jumped was a passenger in a car that had stopped on the Westchester-bound lanes near the Rockland end of the bridge, apparently disabled.

A tractor-trailer hit the car from behind at about 3 p.m., causing a fire that killed the car’s driver, she said. The passenger then jumped into the Hudson.

The bridge deck varies in height, and it was unknown how far the person jumped.

Bridge workers and firefighters rescued the person from the river. The Journal News reported on its Internet site that the passenger was taken by helicopter to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla for treatment of severe burns.

A telephone call to the hospital was not immediately returned.

The state Thruway Authority said at 5:30 p.m. that the three Westchester-bound lanes would be closed for several more hours. Three of the four Rockland-bound lane were closed.


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