Seven dead in crash on Bronx River Parkway, including 3-year-old toddler girl
Three generations of one family were killed this afternoon in a tragic crash in the Bronx.
A grandmother and grandfather, their two daughters and three little grandchildren all perished when the van they were traveling in crashed on the Bronx River Parkway at 12:30 p.m. today.
The accident happened at the Bronx River Parkway and East 180 Street. The white 2004 Honda Pilot crashed through a barricade on the elevated highway, fell nearly 60 feet and landed just inside Bronx Zoo property, according to police.
Maria Gonzalez, 45, was driving, and her sister Maria Nunez, 39, was seated in the second-row passenger seat.
The girls were all seated in the back: Jocelyn Gonzalez, 10; Niely Rosario, 7, and little Marly Rosario, only 3 years old.
Jacob Nunez, 85, who was visiting from the Dominican Republican, was seated in the front passenger seat, and his wife, Ana Julia Martinez, 81, was seated in the second row.
According to New York Daily News, the victims were members of a tight-knit Dominican family. The fatal accident occurred only blocks from their home to which they were headed.
Gonzalez, who was driving, was traveling southbound on the highway. She reportedly lost control, struck the center median and then, trying to correct, veered across three other lanes of traffic before careening off the highway near Exit 5, just south of the zoo, police said.
Police said the van fell down 59 feet and overturned.
“We believe that the driver, who was traveling in the left hand lane, struck the barrier, and in reacting and trying to correct, turned right, went through the barrier and dropped 60 feet,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, according to the New York Post.
The landed in a wooded spot just inside the perimeter of the 265-acre zoo. The area where it landed is not accessible to the public, and no visitors or animals were affected in the crash.
“There would be nobody in that area to be hit by the van,” a police spokeswoman told Metro.
There were no survivors in the accident, according to the FDNY, and the family was all pronounced dead at the scene. According to reports, rescue workers had to cut the lifeless victims out of their seats.
Both sides of the Bronx River Parkway have been shut down for the accident.