5 members of Jersey family killed in car crash coming from July 4th vacation

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Audie and Mary Rose Trinidad with their four daughters. Mary Rose is the lone survivor. Photo: GoFundMe page

Audie and Mary Rose Trinidad with their four daughters. Mary Rose is the lone survivor. Photo: GoFundMe page

The Filipino American community woke up to a one-two punch of shock and grief with reports that a New Jersey family of five figured in a car crash after coming from a Fourth of July vacation in Delaware.

Killed instantly were postal worker and Navy veteran Audie Trinidad, 61, of Teaneck, New Jersey, and his four daughters Kaitlyn, 20; Danna, 17; and 13-year-old twins, Melissa and Allison. The 53-year-old mother, Mary Rose, who works as a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital, sustained serious injuries and is being treated in a hospital in Delaware.

News reports say the family was heading home at 3:47 p.m. on July 6 when Trinidad’s minivan was hit by a Ford pick-up truck moving in the wrong direction. The collision happened on Route 1 in Townsend, Delaware.

“The pickup truck crossed over the center median ‘for unknown reasons’ when it headed south in the northbound lanes,” police said in a press conference. All members of the family were wearing seatbelts.

The grief-stricken FilAm community went on social media to express sorrow and sadness, some of them friends of the Trinidad family.

“My condolences and deepest sympathy to the Trinidad family the tragic death of Audie Trinidad and his four beautiful daughters,” writes family friend Erno Hormillosa. “I met (them) many times through my sister. My sister is the godmother of their oldest daughter.”

Hormillosa said his sister went to see Mary Rose who is recuperating in the Delaware hospital. “With great sadness…I am praying for Mary Trinidad’s speedy recovery and the rest of the family in this very very tough time.”

The Philippine Consulate in New York issued a statement expressing its “deepest condolences to the bereaved Trinidad family…(adding) it joins the community in mourning the tragic loss of exemplary members of the community.”

Consul Arman Talbo said the Consulate is in contact with the relatives.

“Our staff is currently at the hospital to closely monitor the situation of the mother and to offer assistance. Isama po natin sila sa ating panalangin,” he writes on Facebook.

Bergenfield Councilman Arvin Amatorio said the “tragic event has impacted so many people.”

“In tonight’s vigil, I have witnessed the outpouring of generosity and support for the Trinidad family from their friends and various communities. Our sincere condolences,” he said.

Eleanor de Leon, the wife of the former Consul General Mario de Leon Jr., writes how she gets “teary-eyed every time I hear the news…heartbreaking.”

A GoFundMe page was set up by Linda Douglas, a friend of the family. More than $134,000 was raised in one day, from a fundraising goal of $250,000. The donations came from 3,554 people.

A relative said Audie was named after actor Audie Murphy, a movie actor who had a distinguished military career. Audie and Mary Rose met in New York. Both were born in the Philippines.

The incident remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police. — Cristina DC Pastor

© The FilAm 2018

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