New Jersey

New Jersey Girl, 3, Dies After Being Found in CO-Filled Car After Storm

The 3-year-old New Jersey girl found in grave condition alongside her dead mother and brother in their carbon-monoxide filled car while their father was shoveling steps away over the weekend has died, authorities say.

The girl, Saniyah, was initially discovered in very critical condition in her family's car on a Passaic street and was transferred to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, police said. 

She was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon, officials said. 

Saniyah's mother, 23-year-old Sasha Bonilla, and her 1-year-old brother died in the idling car while taking refuge from the chill while the kids' dad, Felix Bonilla, worked to clear the snow from the blizzard, Passaic Police said.

The vehicle's tailpipe was blocked by snow, and carbon monoxide backed up into the car, police said.

When the father looked up, still shoveling, he found his family unconscious, according to neighbor Isabel Carmona, who said he was hysterical, "crying and jumping." 

Emergency responders arrived on the scene on Sherman Street to find people performing CPR. But the mother and son could not be saved.

The children's paternal grandfather told NBC 4 outside his son's family's home Sunday night his son was in shock. 

"My son, he can't even say nothing, he can't even move, he can't even talk," said Bonilla. 

Carbon monoxide is also thought to be the cause of death for a Brooklyn man found in his snow-covered car Monday. Angel Ginel's family said he had been trying to stay warm in his car when plows came through the street and buried the vehicle in snow, blocking the exhaust pipe. 

Drivers who find themselves trapped in the snow should crack open the window while they keep warm, fire officials say. 

Contact Us