Nightly News | April 29, 2012
>>> good evening. we start tonight with a horrific highway tragedy here in new york. seven people, including three children, were killed when their van went out of control and careened off an elevated parkway, landing onto the ground near the famous bronx zoo . it happened on a clear and dry afternoon, and at this hour police are still trying to piece together how it all happened. michelle franzen is in the bronx tonight with the details. michelle?
>> reporter: lester, visitors or witnesses were not affected by that accident. police say the van landed in an area in a nonpublic area from in this park. that van had seven members of a family, including a toddler inside, out for a sunday drive, police say, when tragedy struck. four adults and three children plunged to their deaths sunday after officials say their out-of-control van flipped over a guardrail of a raised parkway in new york city , and landed in the tram yard section of the bronx zoo .
>> units arrived on the scene, and they found a vehicle upside down with occupants inside the vehicle.
>> reporter: the victims, authorities say, are a family. one man, three women, and three girls between the ages of 3 and 15. investigators looked over the wreckage in the rugged terrain at the accident scene, a remote section of the zoo far away, officials say, from animals and visitors who were never in danger.
>> pd came in with their dogs and did a search and helicopters were using their thermal imaging camera to see if they could pick up any heat inside the grounds.
>> reporter: it shows skid marks op the road leading officials to believe the driver of the van was traveling at a high speed at the time of the accident.
>> the driver may have struck a jersey barrier , and reacting to striking that barrier, the driver makes a severe turn.
>> it hit something that cautioned it to become airborne. it fell 100 feet from the overpass and laded upside down when it hit the ground.
>> reporter: it is the second accident on the raised bronx river parkway in less than a year. last year an suv plunged off the room near the same area, injuring two people. city officials say they will ask agencies to review safety issues on the parkway. meanwhile, new york's mayor focused on offering his condolences, saying, our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this tragic time. a tragedy also being felt by emergency workers .
>> sometimes you come upon events that are horrific. and this is one of them.
>> reporter: investigators say they do not know where the family was headed at the time they were on the road. and they are not releasing the names of the victims. they will notify all relatives.