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NY state ordered to pay $3.5M in motorist's death

A judge has ordered New York state to pay $3.5 million to the estate of an Air Force retiree who was killed eight years ago when his car plunged off a snowy interstate highway overpass in Syracuse.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A judge has ordered New York state to pay $3.5 million to the estate of an Air Force retiree who was killed eight years ago when his car plunged off a snowy interstate highway overpass in Syracuse.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that a state Court of Claims judge ordered the state to pay Col. William Gardner's two adult sons for his "wrongful death" caused by the Department of Transportation's failure to clear away snow on Interstate 81.

The 50-year-old Gardner was driving on I-81 in January 2004 when his car spun out of control and hit snow piled against a guardrail, sending the vehicle off the bridge and onto the ground 50 feet below.

Gardner's sons sued the state, claiming the DOT was negligent for allowing snow to build up against the guardrail.

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