Driver had medical episode before fatal crash on Palisades Parkway leaving 4 dead, 8 injured

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Saturday, September 3, 2022
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At least four people died when a passenger van overturned on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey early Friday.

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, New Jersey (WABC) -- Investigators now believe the fatal crash that killed four people on the Palisades Parkway happened after the driver suffered a medical episode.

The Ford Econoline E350 van rolled over and landed in the center median of the southbound lanes of the Palisades Parkway, near Exit 2, in Englewood Cliffs early Friday morning.

Authorities say the 12 people inside the van, worked at a warehouse in Chester, Orange County, and were traveling back to New York City.

Four passengers died and the other eight were admitted to the hospital.

They reportedly work for Amscan, a division of the retail giant Party City, and were returning from the company's warehouse.

The group of Dominican immigrants were hired by On Target, an employment agency in Inwood, and were reportedly required to ride a shuttle to the facility in New Jersey.

The victims were identified as driver George Massey and passengers Candida Frias, Jose Luis Romero Munoz, and Clara Estrella Flores.

Estrella's family spoke to Eyewitness News and said their loved one was in her 40s and immigrated from the Dominican Republic four months ago.

"She was a beautiful person," cousin Natalie Paulino said. "She came over here to have a better life. She was a very joyful person, every time she saw me she tried to liven me up because I'm always down. A great person to have around."

Estrella's sister, who was also in the van, remains hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center, along with four others.

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