Felix Bonilla was doing the kind of hard work that caring fathers do for their families — shoveling snow while the rest of his loved ones took refuge inside their toasty-warm car waiting for him to clear the road.

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But tragedy struck in this most simple of acts, as snow powder clogged the Bonilla family car's exhaust pipe, sending fatal carbon monoxide gas back into the vehicle, where it killed mother Sashalynn Rosa and the couple's 1-year-old son Messiah, according to NBC New York.

The couple's 3-year-old daughter survived the poisoning, but was in critical condition after the January accident, according to a story from the Washington Post.

Felix Bonilla stopped shoveling to check on his Passaic, N.J., family only to find them unconscious and unresponsive, the Post quoted neighbor Isabel Carmona as saying.

"The paramedic, he cry, and the police cry, everybody cry," Carmona said of the scene after 911 was called and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

Saniyah's paternal grandfather, also named Felix Bonilla, told NBC New York the entire family was in a state of shock. "I can't even express how I feel right now, I got no words," the elder Bonilla said. "My son, he can't even say anything, he can't even move, he can't even talk."

Sadly, just four days after the accident, 3-year-old Saniyah died on Jan. 27 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Paterson, reported northjersey.com

“Words cannot express how we feel about what has taken place,” Passaic Detective Andrew White said. “Everyone was praying that this little girl would pull through."

A next-door neighbor, Noelle Andaluz, expressed her sadness after finding out about Saniyah's death. 

“(The father) went out of his way to make sure his children were OK,” she told northjersey.com. “They went outside to have a good time. As a parent, he’s thinking, ‘I’m going to make sure they’re warm, safe in the car.’ ”