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Bergen County Environmentalist Killed in NYS Thruway Crash, Report Says

Mark Becker, of Hillsdale, was killed in a multi-car accident that injured six other people and snarled traffic for hours near the Woodbury exit, reports say.

A well-known Bergen County environmental activist was killed in a multi-car pile-up on the NYS Thruway that injured six other people Wednesday, NorthJersey.com reported.

According to the report, Mark Becker, 53, of Hillsdale was a Lamont-Doherty Observatory earth scientist and co-director of the environmental group Bergen SWAN (Save the Watershed Action Network).

He was traveling to his adjunct professor job at Bard College Wednesday afternoon when the crash occurred near the Woodbury tolls at Exit 16 on the Thruway, the report said.

According to the report, Becker and his companion Lori Charkey had just returned from a 3½-week research trip to Antarctica, where they had worked with Chinese scientists investigating global warming.

The multi-car accident closed lanes and snarled traffic for hours along the NYS Thruway, New City Patch reported. The other six people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening, the report said.

diana6393 February 28, 2014 at 07:03 AM
What a tragic loss for Bergen County. Mr. Becker and Ms. Charkey, through Bergen SWAN, are responsible for preserving so much of the open space we love in Bergen County. Mr. Becker will be missed dearly, but his legacy will live on in the amazing environmental preservation work he accomplished for us all to enjoy.
Conroy February 28, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Only the good die young!!
Sophie's Mom February 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM
My prayers and thoughts go out to both Mr. Becker and Ms. Charkey's family and friends. So sad when good people are taken from us too soon!
fortunes February 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM
sooo sorry--what a same--deep condolances--DO U HAVE TO COMMENT ON THE TRAFFIC PROBLEM THAT WAS CAUSED BY THIS ACCIDENT?? who cares a life was taken
Michael J. Gadaleta February 28, 2014 at 02:48 PM
My prayers go out to Lori, his family and friends . He will be missed . SWAN was ready and willing to assist SOD in our early days find direction and offer advice . We need to honor his memory by keeping his work on going .
Harlan Consider February 28, 2014 at 05:09 PM
@fortunes - I think as news, the resulting traffic issues were definitely relevant. For anyone reading this, having been caught up in what probably seemed like much worse than normal traffic, they will now understand why.
John DeSantis February 28, 2014 at 10:46 PM
A person devotes his life to preserving nature. When lost, his absence will be felt by all. Who will care so much as he, for the few remaining wild and open spaces along the Hackensack. If there is a place of peace and beauty beyond I hope his spirit finds it. Lori, may the goodness of his life soften your grief. Our deepest sorrow, John and Carol
Hedy Grant February 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM
A devastating loss for Lori, all of those who knew Mark and for the environment. His death leaves a huge hole in our lives. He was such a smart, knowledgeable and gentle man who gave so much to so many. My deepest condolences to Lori. His legacy will live on.
Elizabeth Scholl March 01, 2014 at 08:39 AM
Does anyone know of a memorial service being held for Mark?
Malia Hoffman March 01, 2014 at 10:20 AM
This was so sad. I was at the scene of this accident, a few cars behind, on my way update on Wednesday. Traffic was at a standstill for 5 hrs but I did not care, I was just humbled. I had to witness them removing his body from the car which was literally crushed. He had no idea that day was his last. May his soul RIP.

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