5/2/12 | 536 views
Seven Family Members Killed in Auto Crash on Bronx Parkway
A young Bronx girl preparing to celebrate her first Holy Communion was one of seven family members killed in a tragic automobile accident on the Bronx River Parkway.
Jazlyn Gonzalez, 10, was traveling with her family April 29 on the Bronx River Parkway to a family celebration when the vehicle they were traveling in fell 60 feet from the elevated portion of the highway and landed upside down on the property of the Bronx Zoo below.
A fourth-grader at St. Raymond’s Elementary School in the Bronx, Jazlyn was preparing to celebrate her first Communion on Saturday, May 5.
Msgr. John Graham, pastor of St. Raymond’s parish and regional vicar of the East Bronx, called the accident “an obvious tragedy.”
Referring to young Jazlyn, just days away from receiving her first Holy Communion, he said, “Now, she is able to be with Jesus rather than receive Jesus.”
Maria Nunez-Gonzalez, Jazlyn’s mother, was the driver of the white 2004 Honda Pilot. Driving southbound in the left lane, she lost control of the vehicle and it flew over the four-foot guardrail.
The portion of the highway where the accident occurred has been the site of several major accidents in recent years, including at least one in 2006 in which six people died.
The southbound Bronx River Parkway near the location of the accident was listed on a state report last year detailing the worst five percent of problem roads in New York.
In a brief news conference after the accident on Sunday, FDNY Deputy Chief Ronald Werner said, “Sometimes you come upon events that are horrific, and this is one of them.”
All seven passengers in Sunday’s crash were killed upon impact.
Also in the vehicle were Jazlyn’s grandparents, Jacobo Nunez and Ana Julia Martinez, who had recently arrived from their home in the Dominican Republic for a month-long visit with their family in New York.
Jazlyn’s aunt, Maria Nunez Rosario, was also in the vehicle with two of her daughters, 7-year-old Naily and 3-year-old Marlyn Rosario.
Two older brothers survive Jazlyn, one is a seventh-grader at St. Raymond’s Elementary School, and the other is a recent graduate of St. Raymond High School for Boys.
Jazlyn’s father, Juan Gonzalez, is a livery cab driver. Her mother was a custodial worker at Fordham University. Maria Nunez also worked as a custodian at Fordham University.
Msgr. Graham told CNY that Jazlyn’s family worked hard to provide their children with a Catholic education. “They are a hard-working family,” he said.
Maria Nunez and her daughters were parishioners at St. Lucy’s parish in the Bronx. Naily was a first-grade student at St. Lucy’s School. Newspapers reported that visible among the wreckage was a school workbook belonging to Naily.
The Archdiocese of New York sent grief counselors to both St. Lucy’s School and St. Raymond’s Elementary School to work with classmates and faculty there.
The pastor of St. Lucy’s, Father Nikolin Pergjini, described Naily as a “very kind and very humble” girl.
“They came to family Mass every Sunday,” said Father Pergjini of the family.
A Funeral Mass for all the victims was to be offered Friday, May 4, at 9:45 a.m., at St. Raymond’s Church.
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