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Vigil near site of Southern State Parkway crash that killed 4

Family and friends gathered Saturday to leave flowers and hold a prayer vigil near the scene of Tuesday's fatal accident on the Southern State Parkway in North Massapequa. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Mourners gathered for a vigil Saturday near the scene of a wrong-way crash on the Southern State Parkway earlier in the week that killed four people and injured two others.

Family and friends, many in dark T-shirts remembering the victims, left flowers and said prayers near the North Massapequa crash site as traffic rolled past nearby.

The fiery crash happened about 5:10 a.m. Tuesday, police said, when a 1998 Toyota Camry going the wrong way on the eastbound parkway hit a 2011 Nissan Rogue head-on between Exit 29 and Exit 30. The driver of the Camry, Marvin Balcaseres, 33, of Farmingdale, died, as did three others in the Rogue, identified by police as driver Ruben Sanchez-Flores, 67, his daughter Ivis Sanchez-Cordova, 34, and passenger Edith Magana, 56, all of Hempstead.

Nadia Sanchez-Cordova, 44, who is Ruben’s other daughter, survived, police said.

Relatives told Newsday that Ruben Sanchez-Flores was driving his daughters and their co-worker to their factory job when the collision happened.

A GoFundMe page was created Wednesday to help the Hempstead family with funeral-related expenses.

The page, which had a goal of raising $20,000, had garnered $15,889 from 273 donors as of Saturday afternoon.

On the page, family matriarch Nidia Cordova de Sanchez explains the family’s difficult circumstances and said they would like to send the bodies of those killed to Honduras "since this was always my husband's desire to return to our native country."

The Southern State has long been one of Nassau County’s deadliest parkways. In 2012, a Newsday report called it the deadliest in the county.

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