A "big-hearted" teen who was a star athlete in the Hudson Valley tragically lost his life.

On Sunday, July 10, 2022, New York State Police from the Hawthorne barracks began investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash on the Taconic State Parkway in the town of Mount Pleasant.

Fatal Accident On Taconic State Parkway in Town of Mount Pleasant, New York


The initial investigation determined a 2021 Honda Pilot, operated by a 26-year-old from White Plains, was northbound on the Taconic State Parkway and attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Cleveland Street.

At the same time, 19-year-old Jason R. Brand of Mount Pleasant was heading south on the Taconic State Parkway on 2005 Yamaha motorcycle.

Hudson Valley Teen Killed In Accident on Taconic in Westchester County, New York


Brand was unable to avoid the Honda Pilot, police say.

"The collision caused Brand to be ejected from his vehicle," New York State Police stated. Brand was transported to Westchester Medical Center where he, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries.

Brand graduated from Valhalla in 2020.

"Jason was a big-hearted, intelligent and genuine young man, not to mention a star soccer player," Valhalla Schools wrote on Facebook. "Jason had abundant school spirit and loved to attend athletic events to cheer for his friends and classmates. He was funny, joyful and passionate about Valhalla. He reminded us that being kind and caring toward others is the backbone of benevolent relationships."

Valhalla Schools
Valhalla Schools

Brand is wearning #2 in the above photo.

"Jason you had an awesome future ahead of you and it taken from you unexpectedly. You were a great person full of love and compassion and life we will miss your heart," Frank Ragusa wrote on Facebook.

Cause of Crash Still Under Investigation

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. As of this writing, no charges have been filed.

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Taconic State Parkway Named Most Dangoeurs Road In New York

Google Maps
Google Maps

In late 2020, The Ahearne Law Firm named the Taconic State Parkway as the most dangerous road in all of New York State. 

"It may come as a surprise that this road is the deadliest road in New York. However, this two-lane roadway is one of the most overcrowded highways in the state," The Ahearne Law Firm wrote about the Taconic. "Part of the reason why Taconic State Parkway is so dangerous is because of all its twists and turns. If you can avoid this road next time you head north from the city; you should."

During a three-year period, there were over 2,000 accidents on the Taconic, according to Only in Your State.

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On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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