(NEW YORK) — Authorities are investigating the cause of Sunday’s fatal crash on the Bronx River Parkway that killed seven family members.
Investigators say the van carrying four adults and three children swerved out of control and plunged 50 to 60 feet into the Bronx Zoo near 177th Street on Sunday. The victims were trapped inside the vehicle and died before rescue teams could save them, the New York City Fire Department and Emergency Management officials reported.
“We believe that the driver may have struck the jersey barrier,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told WABC-TV. “And reacting to striking that barrier, the driver makes a severe right-hand turn and goes over the side wall, which is a 60-foot drop.”
The victims were identified by WABC-TV as Jacob Nunez, 85, Ana Julia Martinez, 81, both from the Dominican Republic; along with Maria Gonzalez,45, Maria Nunez, 39, Jocelyn Gonzalez, 10, Niely Rosario, 7, and Marly Rosario, 3. Officials are expected to release the official causes of death on Monday.
No zoo visitors or animals were injured, officials said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire