State ordered to pay $14.7 million to family of crash victim

The state has been ordered to pay nearly $15 million to the family of a Central New York man killed when his car drove off an unplowed snow bank on a highway overpass and fell 36 feet.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that a state Court of Claims judge found that the state was responsible for not properly maintaining a stretch of Interstate 81 where former East Syracuse Mayor Jason Rhoades was killed in January 2004.

The 28-year-old died after his car slid up a snow bank on the side of the highway and vaulted over a guide rail, landing on its roof.

The judge found the state 100 percent responsible for the crash and ordered it to pay $14.7 million to Rhoades' widow and their two children.

Lawyers for the state say they're reviewing the decision.