Zakei Barnes, 34, of Waterbury, survived a horrific crash on Route 8 in Seymour early Friday morning that killed a father from Waterbury and his uncle, Pastor Edward Barnes, spoke exclusively with NBC Connecticut on Friday.
Barnes was driving the wrong way when his car and the car Belarmino Santos, 37, of Waterbury, was driving collided, state police said. Santos died at the scene at 3:35 a.m. on the day his little boy turned 5.
Barnes was taken to Waterbury Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Pastor Barnes said his nephew is aware of what happened and is distraught about the crash.
“He knows that the other guy got killed, and he's really distraught about that because he has two boys of his own, and he's really distraught about that,” Pastor Barnes said. “I tried to tell him it was an accident, it wasn't something intentional.”
Through the tragedy, the Barnes family is trying to make sure Zakei knows that they are there for him.
“Right at this point, we're trying to make sure everything is good with him, before we find out whatever,” the pastor said.
They also said the family’s hearts go out to the Santos family in their time of grief.
“Our hearts go out to them, because it could be us feeling the same way they are,” he said.
No charges have been filed in the crash. Lt. Paul Vance, of State Police, said the accident investigation team will look at everything and any possible violations that might have been committed.