NEW YORK CITY — Five friends from Argentina celebrating their 30th high school reunion and an "absolutely loving" West Village man were among the people killed in Tuesday's terror attack on the West Side bike path, officials said.
► Hernan Diego Mendoza-Espino, Alejandro Damian Pagrucco, Herman Ferruchi, Diego Enrique Angelini, all 47, and Ariel Erlis, 48, were part of a group of 10 who traveled to the city Sunday to celebrate their high school reunion, according to the NYPD and Argentinian consulate.
Truck attack: 5 of the 8 killed were from Argentina, in NYC celebrating 30th anniversary of high school graduation. https://t.co/IGfrzAluGJ— AP Eastern U.S. (@APEastRegion) November 1, 2017
"My government and I believe the whole world condemns this kind of attack. Our hearts are with the victims," said Mateo Estreme, Argentina's consul general in New York.
"We are taking care of everything regarding the funeral, regarding the travel from Argentina to the United States for their families. We've been in contact with the families. We've been in contact with the survivors."
Estreme added that they were a group of “very talented” Argentine citizens.
"They were so happy together to have the opportunity to share some excellent moments. This terror attack brought an abrupt end to that celebration. At certain stages, we are at a loss. We don't have words to express how we grieve for them," she said.
"I spoke with the five wives. The most difficult part for them is to tell their kids their fathers aren't with them any longer. That was really the most difficult. I didn't have the words to express how we feel for them."
► Anne-Laure Decadt, 31, from Belgium, was also killed in the attack, police said.
Decadt, who has a 3-year-old and 3-month-old son, was biking with her mother and sister when she was killed, the New York Daily News reported.
► Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, N.J., had reportedly been riding a Citi Bike when he was fatally struck.
He worked for Moody’s and had recently purchased a membership to the bike-sharing program to stay fit, his family told the New York Post.
“He was riding his bike in between meetings — I guess he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” his mother, Barbara Drake, 69, told the Post of her son, who reportedly graduated from Rutgers University and was pursuing a master’s degree.
► Nicholas Cleves, 23, a resident of Greenwich Street in the West Village, was the youngest fatal victim of the attack, authorities said.
He graduated from Skidmore College in May with a degree in computer science, according to his LinkedIn page, and was working as a software engineer.
“What is important to me, in my future endeavors, is working with people of diverse backgrounds in life and technology,” he wrote on LinkedIn.
His parents founded the Village-based lighting company CX Design, according to reports and an employee for the company.
A local supermarket worker remembered Cleves as an "absolutely loving" young man.
“He was smart, engaging — the exact opposite of the monster that murdered him,” said Diane Cohen, a baker at Brooklyn Fare on Greenwich Street.
“He touched everyone here, simply a joy to be around."
The driver of the truck that plowed into the victims, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was taken to Bellevue Hospital after being shot by an NYPD officer.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday our “thoughts and prayers” should be with those killed and that everyone who died would be remembered as a New Yorker.
“This was an attack on our values. It was an effort to break our spirit,” the mayor said at a press conference. “But as an effort to break our spirit, it failed.”