The surviving family members of those who died in this weekend's tragic accident on the Bronx River Parkway were joined Monday by friends and neighbors who say they don't know how they'll be able to bear the unbearable grief going forward. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.
Hugs and kisses tried to console a grieving Bronx family suffering an unimaginable loss outside their Soundview home Monday.
Juan Gonzales says the loss has destroyed him. His wife of 22 years, Maria Gonzalez, was behind the wheel in Sunday's SUV crash that killed her and their 10-year-old daughter Jazlyn. They were among seven family members who died in the crash. Also killed were Maria Gonzalez' sister Maria Nunez, and their elderly parents who had just arrived from the Dominican Republic along with Nunez's five and three-year-old daughters.
"This is the worst thing happened in my life I can't explain to you," said the victims' cousin, Olivia Espinal.
Friends describe the family as close knit and religious. Maria Gonzalez and her sister even worked together at Fordham University.
"No one can take it it's just unbelievable that's what everyone is thinking right now," said family friend Oscar Morel.
"I know them for 10 years it's a shame this happened to very good people," said Gonzalez' tenant, Carlos Ponbar.
Maria Gonzalez was known for always helping anyone in need. Her daughter is being remembered as a social little girl, a great student who even visited her former teachers at her old elementary school.
"She was just here three weeks ago. I just can't. I am not saying this should happen to anyone but this family was one of the best families you could ever have," said Jazlyn's former teacher, Eunice Rodriquez.
Family friend Fatima Otoo's daughter was one of Jazlyn's best friends, and says they were looking forward to riding bikes together this summer.
"She is crying. It's too much for us. It's too much, it's too much for us," Otoo said.
Jazlyn was supposed to receive her first communion on Saturday. Her family is now relying on their religious faith more than ever.
Maria Gonzalez spoke to her husband just before the crash. She called to tell him what to buy at the store for a celebration they planned to have at their home: A celebration that will never take place.