Three generations of a family died in a crash just a few miles from home when the SUV they were traveling in plunged more than 50 feet off a highway overpass and into a ravine on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, killing all seven aboard, including three children.
Authorities were trying to determine what caused Sunday’s accident that killed Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, both from the Dominican Republic, their daughters, Maria Gonzalez, 45, and Maria Nunez, 39, and three grandchildren. Police say Gonzalez was driving.
The children were identified as Jocelyn Gonzalez, 10, the daughter of the driver, Niely Rosario, 7, and Marly Rosario, 3, both daughters of Nunez.
NYPD highway accident investigators estimated the van was traveling approximately 70 miles per hour when it hit the median, according to law enforcement sources. The 45-year-old woman was driving the van, and all the passengers were wearing seat belts.
“We believe that the driver, who was travelling in the left hand lane, struck the Jersey barrier, and in reacting and trying to correct, turned right, went through the barrier and dropped 60 feet,” says cops.
The elder Nunezes, 85 and 81 respectively, were in the Bronx to visit their kids for two months. They just arrived Thursday.
“I don’t want to live anymore”, says the father.
The wreck was the deadliest in New York City since the driver of a tour bus returning from a Connecticut casino in March of 2011 lost control and slammed into a pole that sheared the bus nearly end to end, killing 14 passengers.
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Last June, an SUV plunged off the Bronx River Parkway in the same area, hurting two people inside the vehicle. That SUV lost control, hit a divider embankment and bounced through two lanes of traffic to plunge 20 feet down over a guard rail.