Daily News, October 31, 2011, "A Horror Plunge"




BY ERIK BADIA, JENNIFER H. CUNNINGHAM and BARRY PADDOCK

A Monstrous multicar pileup on the ice-slicked Cross Bronx Expressway Sunday sent a young mother and her boxer brother flying 75 feet off an overpass.

Jeneffer Sosa, 21, was killed. Her 20-year-old brother, Golden Gloves champion Pedro Luis Sosa, was in a coma, relatives said.

The brawler, who narrowly missed a spot on the 2012 Olympic team in August, was about to turn pro Monday. “It was supposed to be a big day,” said Sosa’s boxing coach, Marco Suarez.

Instead, family and friends gathered to mourn the loss of Jeneffer Sosa and pray for her brother. “Everybody's waiting to see if he’s going to live, or if he’s going to die,” Suarez said.

The Sosas were among 10 people packed into a Chevy Venture traveling east on the Cross Bronx Expressway about 5:45 a.m. Sunday as temperatures hovered near freezing and road surfaces turned treacherous.

An accident in the westbound lane caused some drivers to hit their brakes to rubberneck, prompting a wild pileup, with cars spinning on the black ice.


When the initial chaos ended, Jeneffer and Pedro Luis Sosa got out of the Chevy to check on a car ahead of them, cops and friends said.

That’s when a Toyota Corolla, hit in yet a third multivehicle wreck, slammed into them and sent them flying off the overpass into the darkness.

Witness Joe Torres, 34, saw the mayhem from his tow truck underneath the elevated roadway. The pair fell about 75 feet into a construction site below, near Bruckner Blvd. and Brush Ave., cops and witnesses said.

Torres, who works at a nearby auto collision shop, said he heard Jeneffer Sosa screaming from inside the fenced-off construction site and led police there.

Cops broke down a gate at the construction site to get to the injured Sosas, witnesses said. They were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where Jennefer Sosa, who worked at Yonkers Raceway and was the mother of a toddler son, died.

Pedro Luis Sosa was barely clinging to life as relatives gathered around him in the intensive care unit.

“He’s in the toughest fight of his life right now. We’re not really thinking of his boxing career. We’re just thinking of him. He’s a fighter. Hopefully he’ll be able to pull through. He’s strong,” said Steven Martinez, a close friend of the boxer who grew up with him.

Pedro Luis Sosa, who represented the Cops and Kids Gym in the Bronx and was renowned for his left hook, won the prestigious Junior Olympic National Championships in 2008, and was the 2009 and 2011 PAL National Champion and the 2010 USA Boxing National Champion.

Sosa’s coach said the 141-pound boxer was one of the best lightweights in the country. “He was No. 1 in the country for three years straight,” Suarez said.

“Pedro was a brawler. Very aggressive. The best kind of puncher. His heavy punch was the left hook.”

Fourteen other people were hurt in the chain-reaction crash, which involved at least nine vehicles, officials said.

Nobody was charged in the wild series of accidents that occurred as temperatures plummeted to 33 degrees in the wake of Saturday’s freak October nor’easter.