NEW YORK — An appeals court has cleared a New York City driver in a fatal crash after agreeing she faced an “unforeseen emergency” when a back-seat passenger untied her bikini top.

The July 2008 crash occurred on the New York Thruway. The Daily News reports Brittany Lahm briefly took her hands off the wheel when her bikini top came off.

Lahm and a group of friends were returning to Rockland County after a day at the shore. Brandon Berman, who allegedly pulled the bikini strings, was killed.

The Brooklyn Appellate Division upheld the conclusion of a Rockland jury, which found Lahm’s bikini top problem constituted “a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her own making.”

Lahm declined to comment. Her lawyer noted the ruling could be appealed to the state’s highest court.