NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Seven hearses pulled up to the Church of Saint Raymond in the Bronx Friday morning carrying the bodies of seven members of the same family who were killed in a crash last weekend on the Bronx River Parkway.
Hundreds of mourners lined the street as one by one, the caskets were brought into the same church where one of the victims, 10-year-old daughter Jocelyn Gonzalez, was to have her communion on Saturday.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
Instead, it’s where she, her mother, aunt, cousins and grandparents were being remembered.
“I mean, you have family. Just imagine that’s your family and to leave seven people out of one family,” Collette Dickenson, who attended the funeral, told CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider.
Dickenson has never met the family, but brought her daughter, a second grader at Saint Raymond’s, to be part of the school tribute to the victims.
Killed were Maria Gonzalez, 45, her parents, 85-year-old Jacob Nunez and 81-year-old Ana Julia Martinez, her sister 39-year-old Maria Nunez, her 10-year-old daughter Jocelyn Gonzalez and two nieces, 7-year-old Niely Rosario and 3-year-old Marly Rosario.
Jocelyn’s classmates came to the church to remember their friend.
“She was a nice girl and she was my best friend,” said friend Mikaela Alberty.
Since their deaths, people from all over have been expressing shock, sadness and goodwill.
Fordham University, where both Maria Gonzalez and Maria Nunez worked, has started a fund for the family.
Friday morning, their colleagues arrived in a large group to attend their funeral.
“I’m just sad because the thing is, it’s not every day that you get to meet good people like my two co-workers who passed on,” said colleague Fernando Bonilla. “The tragedy and the way they went, it’s something that I don’t know how to explain it. We’re going to miss them very, very dearly.
Other fundraisers for the family have also been set up by the New York State Federation Of Taxi Drivers where Gonzalez’s husband, Juan Gonzalez, works and by a Latino fraternity at Pace University where her son, Jonel Gonzalez, goes to school.
A website started in support of the family has also raised more than $100,000. The funerals for all seven family members are now completely paid for.
Following the funeral, five of the victims will be buried at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery. The grandparents, Ana Julia Martinez and Jacob Nunez, will be returned to the Dominican Republic for burial.
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