ROSELAND — Family, friends and the sound of young children filled the home of two identical twins killed in a car wreck over the weekend.
Brothers Deablo and Diapolis Banks, both fathers of 2-year-old girls, were killed Saturday morning when the vehicle they were in crashed into other parked cars before flipping several times near the intersection at State and 102nd street.
The 20-year-old female driver was also killed on the scene and a 15-year-old girl who was in the back seat was taken to Christ Hospital in stable condition, according to authorities.
Diapolis, who was sitting in the back passenger seat, was ejected from the vehicle upon impact, according to his family — a jaws of life device was used to pull his brother from the vehicle.
"They were completely in tune with each other," Madggie "Yolanda" Bates, the twins' mother, said of her sons, who were known to dress alike.
"Raising them was a beautiful experience — it was like taking care of one," she said of her sons, who were 22.
The twins' two daughters played at her feet, their mothers looking on from the living room of the Roseland home.
The Banks brothers had met their girlfriends, best friends Kintoya Putman, 20, and Roget Morris, 23, at a night club around three years ago.
After dancing at the club, the two men had asked for the women's numbers, Putman recounted.
"But when [the twins] got home they traded our phone numbers," Morris, Diapolis' girlfriend, remembered with a laugh.
"And a couple months later, this happened," Putman said, pointing to her and Deablo's daughter, Smari, who was born one month after Diapolis' daughter, Janessa.
The brothers were known around the neighborhood for their singing and dancing, according to family.
Their gospel rap duo, "The Holy Ghost Boys," performed at churches in the neighborhood and the two used their love for dance to start a step team at a local youth center.
"It's gonna be hard to explain to [our daughters] that their fathers aren't here," Putman said as the young girls sang and ran around the room. "They act just like their dads — the same personalities."
Bates recounted that about a week before the fatal crash she saw her sons in the basement of their home, looking at themselves in the mirror.
"That was the last time I heard them downstairs being goofy," she said. "They were looking at themselves in the mirror saying, 'We ride together, we die together'."
"And that's exactly what they did," she added.
Neither the twins' mother nor their girlfriends know the 20-year-old driver or the 15 year old in the back seat of the wrecked of the vehicle, but Bates rejected unconfirmed claims from witnesses who say an argument appeared to be taking place moments before the crash.
"The only one that can say what was going on was the 15 year old in the car," she said. "Diapolis can't tell, Deablo can't tell and the driver can't tell."