A video has just emerged showing a group of Argentinian friends cycling and having a grand time in Manhattan just before a truck collided with them.
The five men were part of a group of ten friends who were celebrating their 30th high school reunion before they perished in the New York terrorist attack last Wednesday.
Another member of their group, Martín Ludovico Marro, is currently still in the ICU but is expected to survive. He has not yet learned the heartbreaking news that five of his close friends have died.
Ariel Erlij, Hernán Ferrucchi, Alejandro Pagnucco, Hernán Mendoza, and Diego Angelini were among the eight fallen victims of terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.
The 29-year-old plowed into a bike lane with a truck rented from a Home Depot in New Jersey. The ISIS-inspired Saipov also injured 12 others during the incident.
“They came here like millions of other visitors to see the sights, and see the greatest city on earth,” said federal prosecutor Joon H. Kim.
“They were riding two by two, heard a noise, and saw in seconds that a truck was running over them. It was like hell, with bodies everywhere, people crying, people trying to flee,” said Mateo Estreme, the Argentine consul in New York.
“They lived moments of companionship, of friendship, they bought gifts for their children, their families, many of them had their gifts with them,” Estreme said in Spanish.
“They thought of their families and imagine this terrorist moving forward with his truck … it is unthinkable, terribly sad and none of us has words to describe it,” the told the Buenos Aires daily, Clarin.
“One of them, it was the first time he left Argentina… and the first time he leaves the country a terrorist kills him in New York. There are no words to describe that.”
All of them had graduated from a polytechnic college in the Argentinian city of Rosario and had been in New York City for several days when the tragic incident occurred, according to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion.
Ariel Erlij, who runs a steel mill in Argentina, even paid out of his own pocket so that two of the members of the group could be there, local news reported.
On Tuesday the group hired Citibikes and took the leisurely bike path down West St, which runs alongside the Hudson River. They were near Stuyvesant High School, which was at the tail end of the killer’s rampage – when he struck them.
“We are trying to figure out how to go on – especially the families,” Mateo Estrémé, Consul General of Argentina to the United Nations, said. “[They] are completely lost about, well, being very far from their relatives. They don’t know what to do.”
He also said that the other members of the group who survived the incident have been horribly scarred by what had happened. He said, “They are devastated. They are still in shock because they cannot believe that this happened.”
The group flew in from Argentina and was met by Marro, who was injured in the attack. Though born in Argentina, he is now a resident of Newton, Connecticut. Marro’s wife, Mariana Dagatti, who is also from Argentina, flew to New York and is now with her husband, according to their friend, Newton City Councilor James Cote.
Cote said that Marro is a scientist at the Novartis Institutes in Cambridge, while his wife is an architect, and that they have been living in Newton for about seven years.