15. A Terrible Tragedy
For one man and his family, they never imagined a trip out on a snowy day would end in tragedy. However, when one of the worst blizzards in history hit New York and New Jersey in 2016, Felix Bonilla Jr. found himself making one fatal mistake that would change his life forever.
You won’t believe what he did.
14. A Blizzard Like No Other
When it comes to living in the northeastern United States, people expect heavy snowfall. However, in 2016, Passaic, New Jersey witnessed an epic 30 inches of snow. Of course, life must go on as always, so for Felix, his girlfriend and his two children, it meant digging the car out of the mountain of icy white to get on with their day.
Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a normal car ride turned into an absolute nightmare.
13.Trapped in the Snow
In the days after the blizzard, most of New Jersey found their vehicles covered in mountains of snow. Felix, his girlfriend Sasha, and their two children were heading out for the day, but unfortunately, their car was blocked in by several feet of snow.
Thankfully, Felix had an idea.
12. Huddled Inside for Warmth
While Sasha and the two children stayed inside the vehicle to stay warm, Felix began the laborious task of shoveling the car out of the snow. He worked diligently, but the progress was slow.
Meanwhile, something sinister was seeping into the inside of the vehicle.
11. The Blocked Tailpipe
Due to the snow’s depth, the tailpipe of the car had been blocked off by the icy powder. With nowhere for the exhaust to go, lethal carbon monoxide gas had begun to build up inside the car.
What happened next is truly heartbreaking.
10. 20 Minutes Too Long
Sadly, both Sasha and Felix were unaware of the gas slowly filtering inside the car. It took Felix over 20 minutes to finally free the car from the snow, but when he got back inside the vehicle, it would be too late.
The scene he found inside was absolutely shocking.
9. Unconscious and Unresponsive
Sasha and his two children were unconscious and unresponsive. Felix tried everything he could to wake them up, but they did not respond. Realizing, they need to reach a hospital quickly, Felix cried out for help.
Would anyone make it in time?
8. Desperate for Someone to Save Them
Felix immediately called 911 and begged them to hurry and help his unconscious family. He had no idea they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and could only describe that they had all passed out while inside the car.
Now all this poor father could do was wait.
7. A Neighbor to the Rescue
According to Felix’s neighbor, Isabel Carmona, she knew something had happened when Felix began to scream and cry while jumping up and down. Carmona attempted CPR along with other neighbors on Sasha and her two children, but were unable to revive them.
As they began to give up hope, the paramedics finally arrived…
6. Rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital
When the paramedics arrived on the scene, it was an emotional moment. According to neighbor Isabel, everyone was brought to tears by the sad situation. The police were crying and the paramedics were tearing up as well. To watch this father slowly come to the realization that his family could be gone was heartbreaking.
Jumping into action, the paramedics quickly rushed Sasha and the two children to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
5. Two Dead, One in Critical Condition
Sadly, both Sasha (23) and her young son (1) died before they arrived at the hospital. Felix’s daughter, who was only three, died four days later after being in intensive care.
To say Felix was shattered would be an understatement.
4. Family Support
Thankfully, Felix had a strong family to support him through this difficult time. His grandfather revealed that he couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to lose your entire family like that. Sadly, no amount of condolences would bring his family back.
3. An Outpouring of Love
Friends and family all rushed to support Felix during his time of need. A GoFundMe campaign was also set up to help raise money for the burials of both children and his girlfriend.
What makes matters worse is that this entire situation could have been avoided.
2. The Fatal Error
The police who investigated this tragedy have stated it’s a tragic yet important reminder of why you must check your tailpipe for any type of blockage.
“Any snow that covers your tailpipe you want to shovel the snow from the back of the car and clear the tailpipe before you even start the car,” said Battalion Chief Chris DiBella of the Passaic Police Department.
1. Be Safe This Winter
As winter bears down on the north this year, it’s important you keep in mind the dangers of driving in the snow and keeping your cars idle. Always make sure to check the tailpipe for any type of blockage, and be sure you don’t sit in the heavy snow for long periods of time.
While Felix’s story is one ending in tragedy, we hope this will save lives in the future.