NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Tragedy struck an immigrant family in the Bronx.
Two vehicles carrying loved ones were struck by a truck upstate.
A mother and two her children are dead. Four other members are injured.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, inside their Bronx home there are a collection of white frame photos on the wall. The wealth of pictures speak of a family built around love. It’s a family now shattered by the deaths of Zulika Gayapersad, her daughter Chelsea and son Justin.
“We’re literally shaken to the core, can’t function, can’t move,” Zulika’s son Aamir Jagdeo told Aiello. “So much stuff to do, we can’t bring ourselves to do it. Unreal, absolutely unreal.”
The tight-knit family has roots in Trinidad and Guyana. The victims were killed Sunday night when the car they were riding in was rear ended by a fast moving tractor trailer near the Kingston exit on the New York State Thruway.
Relatives in a second vehicle were injured. They were returning from a weekend upstate with family. The loss for Vishnu Gayapersad is unimaginable: His beloved wife and two children are gone.
“I don’t have the words right now to say what is going on,” he said. “I don’t believe this is happening.”
The children both attended nearby St. Raymond’s Elementary School. Chelsea loved art and music and Justin was a Nintendo Mario superfan. And at the center of the family was Zulika, devoted mom with a huge heart.
“Absolutely beautiful person, very compassionate, very kind, very caring, did a lot for the family,” said Jagdeo.
The family wants answers from state police investigators, who tell CBS2 criminal charges against the truck driver are a possibility. For now, they are planning a triple funeral and finding the strength in each other.