7 Die, As SUV Plunges Off Bronx Bridge, Into Zoo

By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

(WCBS News) NEW YORK -- Four adults and three children are dead after an SUV went out of control on the Bronx River Parkway and fell off more than 50 feet off the elevated highway, Fire Department officials said.

WCBS 2 New York reports the vehicle was traveling south when it flipped off a ramp near the Bronx Zoo.

Police said the vehicle bounced off the median, crossed all southbound lanes over to the guardrail, and fell 50 or more feet, onto terrain overgrown with trees and brush. It's not clear what caused the vehicle to go out of control. Photos indicate the vehicle was a Honda Pilot, a mid-sized crossover SUV.

Officials said the victims were removed from the upside-down car and taken to EMTs and paramedics. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Bronx Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said the victims (who were all inside) were an 84-year-old man; three women, ages 80, 45 and 30; and three girls, ages 12, 10 and 7. One firefighter was hurt while searching the area.

No zoo-goers or animals were hurt in the accident, authorities confirmed. The car fell near a tram storage area where zoo patrons are not allowed. The south side of the Parkway has been closed, as officials seek to determine the cause of the accident.

In June 2011 in a similar accident, the driver of an Acura SUV going north on the Bronx River Parkway lost control. The vehicle hit a divider embankment, bounced through two lanes of traffic and plunged 20 feet down over a guard rail, landing on a pickup truck in a parking lot. There were no fatalities in that accident.

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