'They're All Gone:' Car Crash Kills New Jersey Father and 4 Daughters, Leaving Mother Behind
A New Jersey mother was the only member of her family to survive a multi-car crash that occurred in Delaware on Friday and took the lives of her husband and four daughters.
Mary Rose Trinidad, her husband Audie Trinidad, 61 and their daughters — Kaitlyn, 20, Danna, 17, and 13-year-old twins Allison and Melissa —were driving on a Delaware highway in their minivan when a pickup truck going the opposite direction crossed over the median and slammed into their vehicle, ABC News 7 reported.
The family of six were returning home to Teaneck, New Jersey after going on a trip to Ocean City, Maryland according to the New York Post, who spoke with Audie’s brother, Daniel Trinidad.
“I’m trying to keep it together. We don’t know how we will cope once reality sets in. They’re all gone, gone,” he told the outlet.
“They’re a God fearing family. They go to church. My brother texted me a picture of the blue crabs they ate on 4th of July. They’re all gone in the blink of an eye,” he continued, adding that “Their bodies in the morgue are unrecognizable.”
Mary Rose was taken to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware where she was admitted with serious injuries, ABC News 7 reported. She is currently alert and in stable condition.
A spokesperson for the Delaware State Police could not be reached by PEOPLE for comment, but a statement shared on their website by public information officer Melissa Jaffe gave details of the crash.
According to an initial investigation, the incident took place on Friday “at approximately 3:47 p.m.,” and involved three cars: a 2007 Ford F-350 — which was traveling southbound — a 2002 Mercury Sable, and a 1998 Toyota Sienna, which were both traveling northbound. The family of six was driving in the 1998 Toyota Sienna.
“For unknown reasons, the F-350 failed to remain in the southbound lanes of travel and exited the roadway, crossing over the grassy median and into the northbound lanes of travel,”Jaffe said.
“The front driver’s side of the F-350 struck the left rear side of the Sable, causing the Sable to spin out of control and come to a rest in an embankment. The F-350 continued out of control southbound in the northbound lanes, when the front of the Sienna struck the passengers side of the F-350. The impact caused both vehicles to be displaced off the edge of the roadway and into a ditch,” Jaffe added.
The operator of the F-350, a 44-year-old male from East New Market, Maryland, was taken to a local hospital, where he was later released with non-life threatening injuries, said Jaffe. Authorities have yet to determine “if impairment” was a factor regarding his involvement with the crash.
Additionally, the passenger riding in the same car as well as the operator of the Sable, a 24-year-old male from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, were also taken to a local hospital and released with non-life threatening injuries, Jaffe explained.
While Audie and “his 53-year-old wife” were properly restrained at the time of the crash, their four daughters were not, said Jaffe. Audie and his daughters were pronounced dead at the scene.
It was not announced by police whether Audie or Mary Rose were driving.
The investigation into the crash, which is being performed by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, is still ongoing, according to Jaffe’s statement.
There is currently no word on if charges will be filed, according to ABC News 7.
Sara Conteras, who starred in Showtime’s 2008 comedy special Original Latin Divas of Comedy, shared a touching Instagram tribute for the family’s 17-year-old daughter Danna on Saturday, describing her as “a lovely and brilliant Teaneck HS student and beloved friend of my extended family.”
“Danna, a lovely and brilliant Teaneck HS student and beloved friend of my extended family, was killed yesterday along with her three sisters and father in a car accident,” Contreras wrote. “Make everyday a new opportunity to value yourself, your family and your friends. Life is too precious and it can all be taken in a second. We grieve as a community for this beautiful family. Its incredibly sad and incomprehensible.”
According to the Teaneck Daily Voice, a memorial service is planned to commemorate the family at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Votee Park.
A GoFundMe page created to raise funds for the mother has been set up in their honor, and has already passed its $10,000 goal.