NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 15-year-old Brooklyn girl who died in a crash Sunday in Rockland County was laid to rest Tuesday.
Saniha Cekic was killed when the SUV that she was in collided with another car in Pearl River and then plunged off an overpass, bursting into flames on the train tracks below.
Hundreds of mourners paid their respects at her wake Monday night in Astoria, Queens.
“My sunshine, my love. She was the reason I live for,” her distraught father, Began Cekic, told CBS2.
Tuesday morning, loved ones brought her casket to Millstone, New Jersey for burial.
“Every school day she wakes me up in the morning. There will be nobody to wake me up,” her father said. “I can pray to God to give me sanity. I thank all the people who came here to share pain with me.”
Cekic was an honor student at Edward R. Murrow High School who dreamed of studying medicine or law. She left behind a twin brother.
“I wish he took me. I wish he took me so she can live,” her father added. “She was an angel. I hope she’s in a better place.”
Family members said the 15-year-old was visiting relatives for the long weekend. Her cousin, 17-year-old Aisha Radoncic, drove Cekic and their friend, 17-year-old Altin Nezaj, in her aunt’s Porche SUV to pick up groceries.
“Honor students, top of their class. It was a holiday weekend, figured they’re spend some time together,” said another cousin, Ismail Cekic.
The SUV collided with another vehicle at around 3:30 p.m. Sunday on Route 304. Cekic and Nezaj were killed, but Radoncic escaped with critical injuries.
Nezaj and Radoncic were classmates at Pearl River High School, where Nezaj was on the football team.
“He was just a great spirit to be around. Everyone loved him,” friend Nick Carbone said.
His wake was held Tuesday at F. Ruggiero & Sons Funeral Home in Yonkers, where many mourners were wearing ribbons with Nezaj’s initials and jersey number, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“He did anything to help everyone. He loved to mess around. Just a great guy in general,” friend Terence Mulvey said.
Nezaj’s funeral will be held Wednesday at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.
The driver of the other vehicle was not hurt in the wreck.
Police said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol, but investigators believe speed may have been a factor. The exact cause of the crash is under investigation.
As all of #Orangetown continues to mourn those lost in Sunday's tragic car crash, I have today formally requested that the @NYSDOT immediately evaluate the guardrails on that stretch of Route 304 for modification/improvement to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again pic.twitter.com/7kMvsYbBi4
— Chris Day (@ChrisDayNY) October 15, 2019
New York State Sen. David Carlucci and Orangetown Supervisor Chris Day have asked the state transportation department to investigate the guardrails on that stretch of roadway and make improvements to prevent another tragedy.
“People tend to speed in that area and it’s a sharp curve. It’s always been considered a risky stretch of roadway,” Day said. “I don’t believe that whatever the cause of the accident is found to be you should have a risk of an SUV or car flipping off onto the tracks down below.”