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Widow who lost family in crash on Southern State Parkway returns for memorial

Accompanied by family members, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, center, the

Accompanied by family members, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, center, the wife and mother of the three victims of Sunday's fatal crash on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore, returned to the scene of the tragic accident on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Darran Simon

Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane lay on the grass off the shoulder of the Southern State Parkway Tuesday near a memorial of flowers and a Haitian flag and wailed for the family she lost.

Her brother wrapped his arms around her; family members held each other up, their legs weak too.

In the drizzle, Bouaz-Ostane, 35, wept while those around her stood under umbrellas, held hands and sang.

"I'm just going to be blown by the wind. I don't have a destination," she said later. "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know."

There, on the highway near Exit 41S in Bay Shore, her husband, Ancio Ostane, 37, and their children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, had died in a fiery crash when an alleged drunken driver rear-ended their car.

She escaped.

Her voice cracking, she seemed to talk to her family, staring at the memorial.

"Sephora, Andy honey, Ancio -- you guys will stay in my heart, forever," she said.

She was 19 when she met Ancio, who taught mathematics at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. He was 21. He wanted to marry her then, and asked more than once, she said.

She said she needed to finish her schooling. "He waited for me patiently and finally after seven years, we got married. Happy life," she said.

Their ninth anniversary would have been in September.

She wondered out loud why the alleged drunken driver, Oneil Sharpe Jr., 24, and his alleged accomplice, Demetri Stewart, 23, left the crash scene as the family's Toyota burned.

"Why would you run away? . . . You took away my whole family, my whole life," she said.

Suffolk prosecutors said Stewart and Sharpe left after ignoring the family's cries from the burning vehicle.

Tuesday, on the side of the highway, Bouaz-Ostane cried too.

The roadside memorial, built under the exit sign, was a collection of flowers and two dozen votives. The Haitian flag was there for her husband to represent his home country. The American flag was for her son, Andy, she said.

The boy had recently asked his father to buy him one, saying, "I'm Haitian but I'm American, too," she recalled.

Andy usually told the family good night before he went to sleep in their St. Albans, Queens, home.

"That night, he said 'good night everyone' in the car," his mother said.


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