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All lanes of Harlem River Drive reopen after fatal accident in Manhattan

Traffic headed north on the FDR Drive is

Traffic headed north on the FDR Drive is backed up south of 96th Street Sunday morning, May 24, 2015, after a fatal car crash on the Harlem River Drive in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Christiana Stevenson

One person was fatally injured when a vehicle hit a tree in a crash that temporarily closed the northbound and southbound lanes of the Harlem River Drive near the Willis Avenue exit in Manhattan for more than two hours Sunday morning, the NYPD said.

Police said the single car crash occurred at 5:41 a.m. and that there were three people in the vehicle as it traveled north along the Harlem River Drive. It struck the tree near the Willis Avenue exit.

A passenger seated in the backseat of the vehicle was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital Center after suffering a heart attack, police said. A front-seat passenger was at the same hospital with minor injuries, police said.

Police said all lanes of the Harlem River Drive in the area of the accident where the FDR Drive turns into the Harlem River Drive were closed about 5:45 a.m. and that by 8:10 a.m. all southbound lanes had been reopened.

By 8:45 a.m. some of the northbound lanes of the Harlem River Drive had been reopened but the center and left lanes remained closed for about another hour, backing up traffic south of 96th Street.

All lanes are now open.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

According to a police report, the driver was taken into custody but there were no details immediately available on any possible charges or the identities of the driver or passengers or the type of vehicle that was involved.

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