WXXI Local Stories
10:42 am
Sun December 8, 2013

An Eastman School Professor Dies in Wrong-Way Crash on 490

At about 1:30 Saturday morning, police got first word of someone driving the wrong way on 490 at Route 531.

Monroe County Sheriffs Department spokesman Cpl. John Helfer tells WXXI that minutes later, deputies got a call for a crash involving several vehicles on I-490 East at Exit 6 (Route 204) in the town of Gates.

Credit www.olehkrysa.com

A car going west on I-490 east collided head on with a Volkswagen SUV driven by 69-year old Tatiana Tchekina of Rochester. Deputies say she died at the scene. Her husband, 71 year old Oleh Krysa was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital with what are described as minor injuries. Tchekina was an assistant professor of accompanying at the Eastman School of Music and a pianist. Krysa is a professor of violin at the school.

Deputies identify the man driving the wrong way as 37-year old Thomas Rome from Kirkwood, near Binghamton. They say he smelled of alcohol and was taken to Strong for a broken femur and an arm injury.

Three other vehicles ran into the wreckage, but no one was injured.

Deputies say charges are pending as the investigation continues. It was the second fatal wrong-way crash on 490 in the last two weeks.

Statement From Eastman School of Music Dean on Death of Tatiana Tchekina

The entire Eastman community is shocked and deeply saddened to have learned about the accident that took the life of Tatiana Tchekina.

"Tatiana was an assistant professor of piano accompanying and wife to violin faculty member Oleh Krysa. Professor Krysa was also involved in the accident, and is recovering.

Professor Tchekina was a valued member of our faculty who influenced the lives of the many students with whom she collaborated on performances and competitions. As a world-class musician, she had an international career both as a solo pianist and in collaboration with Professor Krysa.  

Our thoughts are with Oleh, and their family and friends at this very difficult time."

Jamal J. Rossi

Dean -Eastman School of Music