A New York City family returning from Disney World was devastated Saturday evening when women representing three generations were killed in a wreck on Interstate 95 in eastern North Carolina.
Rosanny Marte, 22; her mother Angela Marte, 46; and her grandmother Rosa Marte, 71, all of Washington Heights, were killed when the family's SUV blew a tire on northbound I-95 in Wilson County, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper G.G. Barnes.
Rosanny Marte was driving when she lost control and the vehicle overturned.
Five other family members in the vehicle — including the husbands of Angela and Rosa Marte, and Angela's two other children and nephew — remained hospitalized early Sunday with non-life-threatening injuries.
When Raphael Espaillat learned in Washington Heights Sunday that three generations of his good family friend were killed, he could not hold back his anguish. He broke down, sobbing, "This is a nightmare to this family."
"I don't know if they're gonna be able to take this," Espaillat continued in tears. "This is too strong, the weight is too strong."
John Mazo, another family friend, said, "We spoke to family and friends, and we couldn't sleep. We were crying until 5 in the morning."
Espaillat described the Martes as a "very tight family, very united. Very spiritual."
North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Lee Cox said it appeared Rosanny was driving "at a high rate of speed," and was weaving in and out of traffic between lanes.
Barnes said the two older female victims were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle, which came to rest off the highway.