The lone survivor of a September wrong-way crash on the Southern State Parkway that killed four — including her father and sister — is out of intensive care and expected to return home soon, an uncle said Monday.
Nadia Sanchez-Cordova, 44, of Hempstead, has been hospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow since the early-morning crash on Sept. 15 in North Massapequa.
Her father, Ruben Sanchez-Flores, 67, and sister, Ivis Sanchez-Cordova, 34, both of Hempstead, also died in the crash, as did another passenger, Edith Magana, 56, of Hempstead. The driver of the Toyota Camry, Marvin Balcaseres, 33, of Farmingdale, who police said, drove the wrong way on the parkway, was also killed.
On Monday afternoon, Trooper Daniel Ahlgrim, a spokesman with the New York State Police, said Balcaseres entered the eastbound lanes of the Southern State on an exit ramp. He had previously been driving south on the Bethpage State Parkway, Ahlgrim said.
Since the crash, relatives said Sanchez-Cordova has undergone multiple surgeries because of major damage to her organs — including her lungs and kidneys. She awoke from a coma and is expected to walk again, said her uncle, Jorge Sanchez-Flores, 53, of Uniondale.
"It’s a miracle," he said in Spanish on Monday. "God was with her. We all thought she wasn’t going to be able to walk again, even the doctors. It was the power of God."
The 5:10 a.m. crash occurred when the 1998 Camry hit a westbound 2011 Nissan Rogue head on between Exit 29 and Exit 30, state police said.
Ruben Sanchez-Flores was driving the Rogue, police said. Ivis Sanchez-Cordova, Nadia Sanchez-Cordova and Magana were passengers. Jorge Sanchez-Flores has said his brother was driving the three to their factory jobs just before the crash.
Ahlgrim said no other information pertaining to the investigation was available Monday.
Jorge Sanchez-Flores said the family initially hoped to send the bodies of his brother and nieces to Honduras for burial using funds from a GoFundMe page started after the crash. The effort reached it's fundraising goal of $20,000 but the family decided to bury father and daughter next to each other at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale, he said. Magana is buried there, too, Sanchez-Flores said, adding that he is hopeful his niece will be released from NUMC this week.
The crash has upended her relatives’ lives, said Ruben Sanchez-Flores’ niece, Dorcas Cordova-Sanchez, 45, of Hempstead.
"They’re in a new phase, and they have to start over," she wrote in a text message Monday in Spanish.
The family matriarch, who identified herself as Marta Cordova on the fundraiser’s website, wrote about the hardships her family encountered after the crash.
"With the death of my husband and my daughter … not only is the pain immense, but we also face a great financial problem," she wrote.