Sisters Maria Nunez, 39, and Maria Gonzalez, 45, Gonzalez’s daughter Jocelyn, 9, Nunez’s daughters Marlyn, 3, and Niely, 7, and the children’s grandparents Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, died Sunday. They died near the spot where at least two previous fatal accidents had occurred under similar circumstances.
Police vehicle accident investigators reported that the driver of an SUV which plummeted off a bridge near the Bronx Zoo was going 68 mph on a narrow portion of the road marked with a 50 mph speed limit. This, they say, was a contributing factor to the crash. However, they also admit that if the concrete barrier on the edge of the road had been higher, or a curb had been removed, or the speed further reduced in the area, the crash might have been avoided.
New York state DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a written statement, “The New York State Department of Transportation shares community concerns about the safety of the Bronx River Parkway in the wake of the tragic crash that claimed the lives of seven family members on April 29.”
McDonald said the department will install concrete barriers along the outer travel lane on both the northbound and southbound lanes over the viaduct at the Bronx Zoo, as well as two other similarly constructed viaducts south that cross over East Tremont Avenue and the Amtrak lines
No doubt changes to the roadway will help prevent further similar crashes in the area, but an emphasis on safe driving certainly couldn’t hurt. Not all roadways are 100 percent safe at all times and some roadways are definitely dangerous no matter what time of day you drive on them. Drives who focus on their defensive driving skills will be a much better position to protect themselves and everyone who shares the road with them from the dangers of traffic crashes.