PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Pace University students have rallied around schoolmate Jonel Gonzalez following a tragic car accident on the Bronx River Parkway on Sunday that claimed the lives of seven of his family members.
Jonel's mother, Maria Gonzalez, 45, was driving the SUV that plummeted 60-feet off the parkway and into the Bronx Zoo. Also killed in the crash was his sister, Jocelyn, 10; grandparents Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martínez, 81; aunt Maria Nunez, 39; and two cousins Niely 7, and Marly, 3.
To help Gonzalez and his family ease the financial burden of preparing the funerals, his Pace fraternity, Lamba Upsilon Lamba, created an online donation site that has raised more than $80,000 , as of Wednesday afternoon.
Since the accident, Pace students have been also been taking donations in person and raising awareness by hanging "Para Jonel" signs throughout the campus. A video of students showing their support was posted online Wednesday.
The fraternity has set a donation goal of $100,000. To contribute to the cause, Lamba Upsilon Lamba will also be donating all proceeds from its annual Cinco de Mayo barbecue to Jonel's family.