Dad, Kids Killed In Sussex County Crash Caused By 22-Year-Old Driver: Police

Shock and sadness spread Memorial Day Weekend following a crash that killed four people, including a father and his two children struck by a wrong-way driver in Sussex County.

Andrew Benavente and his children, AJ and Madelyn, died in the crash.
Andrew Benavente and his children, AJ and Madelyn, died in the crash. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Edwin Melendez

Bruce Cseh, 22, of Blairstown, was behind the wheel of a 2021 Jeep Rubicon heading west crossed over the double yellow lines on Newton-Sparta Road around 4 p.m. in Andover Township on Friday, May 26, local police said.

Cseh struck a 2011 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by Andrew Benavente, 36 of Newton. Benavente's truck erupted in flames which became too intense for firefighters. As a result, the dad, his 13-year-old son, Andrew Jr., and 5-year-old daughter, Madelyn, all died.

Cseh was also entrapped, and first responders were able to use a personal vehicle with a chain to pull the Jeep away from the Ford Ranger pickup. He was extricated and flown to a local hospital, where he was pronounce dead, police said.

Digna Melendez-Benavente, Andrew's fiancée and mom to AJ and Madelyn, was not in the car at the time of the crash, loved ones say.

Digna's brother, Edwin Melendez, launched a GoFundMe page for her, which had raised more than $15,600 as of Saturday, May 27.

He also penned a heartbreaking tribute to his niece, nephew and future brother-in-law on Facebook.

"These three incredible individuals, Andrew, AJ, and Madelyn, have left an everlasting impact on our lives," he writes. "Their legacies of love, laughter, and light will continue to inspire us as we navigate the challenges that lie ahead. May their spirits forever guide us and may their memories live on in our hearts."

The crash remains under investigation.

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