A family's Christmas was ruined thanks to an alleged drunk wrong-way driver on Route 9.

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On Dec. 23 around 9 p.m., New York State Police in Westchester were dispatched for a wrong-way driver on Route 9 in the area of Main Street in the city of Peekskill.

An initial investigation revealed a 2018 Audi Q7 color black operated by 41-year-old Mark E. Cope of Yorktown was traveling the wrong-way, northbound in the southbound lanes, on US Highway 9, police say.

Cope then struck a southbound 2020 Acura MDX containing three occupants, according to New York State Police.

The operator of the southbound 2020 Acura MDX, Shina M. McClam, 32, of Ossining succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene. McClam’s two passengers, her six-year-old daughter and her 18-year-old niece, both sustained serious but believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police say. The 18-year-old was transported to Westchester Medical Center by ambulance, and the six-year-old was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center for further care.

A further investigation found Cope was under the influence of alcohol, police say. He subsequently arrested for vehicular manslaughter in the 1st degree, a class C felony.

Cope was virtually arraigned before the town of Cortlandt Court and remanded to the Westchester County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail or bond. He is next scheduled to appear before the Peekskill City Court on December 29, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.

The State Police are asking for anyone who may have observed the wrong way operation which led to this tragic death to please contact the New York State Police at (914) 769-2600. Please ask for the Cortlandt Bureau of Criminal Investigation and refer to case# 9992275.

The State Police were assisted by Peekskill Police Department throughout this investigation. Peekskill and Montrose Fire Departments and the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office also responded to the scene.

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