The lives of two Bronxites were cut short last week during an early morning crash on the Grand Concourse.
The accident occurred at 5:48 a.m. on Wednesday, January 19 near the intersection of Grand Concourse and E. 165th Street.
According to police, Sixto De La Cruz, 70, was driving a blue 1994 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan southbound on Grand Concourse when he slammed into a raised concrete median in the middle of the main roadway. His wife, Brigida, 63, was in the passenger seat.
Police said Sixto was taken to Lincoln Hospital and Brigida to Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Both were pronounced dead on arrival.
The two lived in an apartment building at Mosholu Parkway. Sixto had been reportedly driving his wife to work.
Police said there was no criminality in the accident.
Jerry Arocho, administrator at Principal Building Services where Brigida worked, said he received a call from Bronx Lebanon Hospital early Wednesday morning asking him to come to the hospital to identify her body. Paramedics had found his phone number in the pages of the Bible Brigida always carried with her.
He said he drove her to the train station almost every night from the NY Post printing plant where she worked in Port Morris. He was alarmed that morning when he noticed Brigida – who always arrived to work by 6:30 a.m. – was not at work yet.
“She was a wonderful worker and it’s just a tremendous loss for us,” Arocho said, adding she had worked in the plant for about seven years. “She was always so happy, and always joking. Nothing would bother her. She was a sweetheart and a great friend. It’s a great loss for us.”
The De La Cruz’s were from the Dominican Republic and lived there until 1989. They reportedly had six children and 11 grandchildren.
The concrete median that ended their lives is shrub covered and some say can be difficult to see.
Jose Rodriguez, district manager of Community Board 4, which covers the intersection where the accident occurred, said he has not heard many complaints about the visibility of the median. However, members of his board agreed to request rubber barriers along the middle of the roadway to prevent future accidents.
“When you go out there, you get the impression there should be some safety barriers there,” he said. “There definitely needs to be some type of barriers or more visibility. It’s unfortunate that this incident brings that issue out.”