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Bronx crash occurred on one of N.Y.'s most dangerous roads
Updated 4/30/2012 4:29 PM ET
NEW YORK -- The site of an accident Sunday that killed seven was listed as one of the state's most most-accident prone stretches of road last year.

The Bronx River Parkway stretch is part of a federally mandated 5 Percent Report filed by state departments of transportation, giving each state's roads with the highest rate of serious accidents. The report noted that the area from the accident scene at the Bronx Zoo to five miles south at the Cross Bronx Expressway needs $8 million in repairs to eliminate limited sight distance on the southbound side.

Three bridges along the stretch also are to be replaced in a project to be started in 2016.

STORY: 7 dead after van falls 50 feet in NYC

In Sunday's accident, an out-of-control SUV careened across several lanes of traffic on the Bronx River Parkway, then plunged more than 50 feet into a ravine on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, killing all seven family members aboard, authorities said.

The 2004 Honda Pilot apparently flipped over a 4-foot-high iron fence before landing upside down in the ravine. The cause of the crash was unclear, and police said they didn't know how fast the SUV was traveling. Preliminary autopsy reports are expected to be released later Monday.

The driver was identified by a family friend as Maria Gonzalez, 45. The three children killed were her 10-year-old daughter, Jocelyn Gonzalez; and two nieces, Niely Rosario, 7, and Marly Rosario, 3, police said.

The nieces' mother and Gonzalez' sister, Maria Nunez, 39, also was killed, as were the sisters' parents, Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, both of the Dominican Republic.

The sisters' parents arrived three days ago from Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic, said Jose Perez, a family friend. They were all headed to a celebration at Gonzalez's home.

The accident was the second in the past year where a car plunged off the same stretch of the parkway. In June, the driver of a sport utility vehicle 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.

The wreck was the deadliest in New York City since the driver of a tour bus returning from a Connecticut casino in March 2011 lost control and slammed into a pole that sheared the bus nearly end to end, killing 14.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Posted 4/30/2012 1:05 PM ET
Updated 4/30/2012 4:29 PM ET
Authorities say an out-of-control van plunged off a roadway near the Bronx Zoo, killing seven people, including three children.
By Louis Lanzano, AP
Authorities say an out-of-control van plunged off a roadway near the Bronx Zoo, killing seven people, including three children.