WNYT.com

PTSD may provide answers to deadly Thruway crash

Posted at: 02/24/2013 8:35 AM
Updated at: 02/24/2013 8:57 AM
By: Dan Bazile

While state police continue to look into why 43 year old Julian With got on the Thruway the wrong way early Friday morning causing a deadly crash, his friends are speaking out. They say the Iraq war veteran had a lot on his mind.

“He was one of them easy go guy. He had his problems. But it was probably from the war, you know,” says neighbor David Stafford.

Aside from the war, Stafford says there were issues at home. With recently wrote on his facebook page that his wife had left him. Just hours before the crash, he was arrested by Bethlehem police for violating an order of protection in a domestic dispute. Add to that a post on his facebook page that said his mother had three months to live.

“The natural human condition is those are very hard to deal with even without PTSD,” says Clifton Park psychiatrist, Doctor Anthony Ferraioli. He treats patients with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and people going through similar issues that With may have been going through.

He says under those circumstances, there are several possibilities of what happened the night of the crash.

“On one hand it could have been something very deliberate, another word a total loss of hope,” says Dr. Ferraioli.

On the other hand, he says it could have been a total disconnect with reality brought on by PTSD.

“Another possibility is trying to numb that pain with drugs or alcohol,” he explains.

The exact cause of the crash is still unknown. Police say With got on the Thruway, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes, and slammed into a mini van head on near Exit 21b in Coxsackie. The sedan burst into flames.

The Coxsackie man was pronounced dead at the scene. A front seat passenger in the minivan also died in the crash. The driver of the minivan, Karen Weller and her four month old baby survived. They were taken to Albany Medical Center.