WOODBURY, New York — An environmental activist and scientist at Lamont-Doherty Observatory has died in a seven-vehicle pileup on the New York Thruway that was set off when a state plow spewed smoke.
The crash on Interstate 87 Wednesday morning killed 53-year-old Mark Becker of Hillsdale, New Jersey State police say he slowed when a car swerved from the smoking plow, and a tractor-trailer shoved him into another tractor-trailer.
Becker was pronounced dead at the scene in Woodbury, 45 miles north of New York City. Six others were injured.
Lori Charkey, Becker's partner of 30 years, tells the Record in Bergen County, New Jersey (http://bit.ly/MzykyX ) that Becker was heading to his part-time job as an adjunct professor at Bard College.
Becker and Charkey started Watershed Action Network 26 years ago to preserve natural lands in northern New Jersey.