New concrete barriers are being erected along elevated stretches of a New York City roadway after a weekend crash that killed seven members of a family. The accident occurred when the family's SUV toppled over one of the original railings and crashed upside-down into the Bronx Zoo.
As transit workers continued their work Thursday morning on the Bronx River Parkway, relatives were preparing for a wake in the afternoon and a funeral Friday for the dead; they ranged from an 85-year-old grandfather to his 3-year-old granddaughter.
All of the people inside the 2004 Honda Pilot died Sunday afternoon when it clipped a center divider while heading south in the left-hand lane. The driver, 45-year-old Maria Gonzalez, then veered across three lanes of southbound traffic, hit a curb and a 4-foot-high railing on the elevated parkway, and tumbled about 60 feet into a section of the Bronx Zoo. Nobody on the ground was injured.
Police have said Gonzalez, whose died along with her parents, sister, daughter, and two nieces, was traveling at about 68 mph in an area where the speed limit is 50. But many drivers routinely drive at least 60 mph on the road, and officials have speculated that Gonzalez may have been driving fast simply to keep pace with traffic.