Funeral held for dad killed in I-287 crash in Westchester County

HARRISON, Westchester County (WABC) -- Family and friends gathered Monday to bid a final farewell to a 57-year-old father who was killed along with one of his 17-year-old son's friends in a horrific crash that devastated a Westchester County community.

Hundreds attended the funeral in Scarsdale for Jordan Wachtell, who died Thursday night when he was struck by a wrong-way driver on I-287 in Harrison.

During the emotional two-hour service, a steady stream of mourners shared story after story about his life, impact, and contributions. Darren Wilen can't believe his friend of 30 years is gone.

"I would speak to him almost every day," he said. "Unfortunately, on the day that the accident happened, he called me an hour before. I was away on a cruise, and I texted him and I said that I would call him back."

Ardsley High School senior Eric Goldberg was also killed, while 17-year-old Preston Wachtell -- Jordan Wachtell's son -- and 17-year-old Jack Rosen were seriously injured. Preston spoke Monday at his father's funeral.

"Preston is just a chip off the old block," family friend Tammy Caress said. "And he just is going, I'm sure, carry the torch and make his father very proud and carry on his legacy."

School officials say Jordan Wachtell was driving the teens to a basketball event not hosted by the school.

"The Ardsley community is heartbroken with the tragic news of the passing of high school senior Eric Goldberg, Ardsley parent Jordan Wachtell, as well as injuries to two other seniors," Superintendent Dr. Ryan Schoenfeld said in a statement. "We are supporting our students, staff, and families, as we navigate through this horrific event. Our crisis team organized immediately, were poised, and delivered necessary leadership and support during this most difficult time."

The crash happened just before 8:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes between exits 9 and 9A in Harrison.

Police say 50-year-old Jamie Paucar was operating his 2006 Jeep westbound in the eastbound lanes and struck Jordan Wachtell's 2018 BMW 330CI, causing the Jeep to roll over and come to rest on the center median guide rail.

Paucar was the sole occupant of the Jeep and once extricated from the vehicle was transported to Westchester Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

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