SUV Careens Off Bronx Highway, Kills Seven
The SUV fell upwards of 60 feet from the suspended highway after breaking through a 4-foot-tall barrier fence, the New York Times reported.
More description of the accident from the New York Times:
Outside the S.U.V., scattered in the shade of a late April sun, were the remnants of what had been: a workbook from St. Lucy’s School in the Bronx, a leather purse, a diaper bag, a DVD from the Hellboy fantasy series — all spread out next to the S.U.V., its damaged frame and its occupants turned upside down.
About 20 yards to the east and 20 yards above, on an overpass of the Bronx River Parkway, not as many signs of the horrifying accident were evident, but what was left was still telling: a clean trail of skid marks that cut straight across three southbound lanes, leading toward a guardrail that separated the parkway from the earth and streets below.
The guardrail bore no scars from the S.U.V., for there was no impact; police investigators said the driver had lost control, and the vehicle first struck a Jersey barrier at the center median, and then veered sharply to the right, hitting a curb that propelled it directly over the guardrail.
According to the Associated Press, police identified the seven dead as Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, their daughters, Maria Gonzalez, 45, and Maria Nunez, 39, and their three grandchildren.
“ I’ve been in the fire department 30 years,” FDNY deputy Chief Ronald Werner told the Associated Press. “Sometimes you come upon events that are horrific and this is one of them.”
More from the Associated Press:
The accident was the second in the past year where a car fell off the same stretch of the Bronx River Parkway. Last June, the driver of an SUV heading north lost control and the SUV hit a divider, bounced through two lanes of traffic and fell 20 feet over a guardrail, landing on a pickup truck in a parking lot. The two people in the SUV were injured.
Although New York City authorities are calling the incident a "freak accident," NYC Dept. of Transportation spokesman Adam Levine told the New York Times that, “We’re going to do our investigation into this accident and see if anything needs to be done to improve the safety of the area.”
The crash is the deadliest in New York City since March of 2011, when 14 people were killed aboard a tour bus returning from a Connecticut casino.