Shock and sorrow spread through Haledon and beyond on Sunday with word that the school district’s beloved head custodian and his wife were killed in a horrific crash hours earlier.
Responders tried in vain to revive Corrado LaRosa, the director of physical plant and custodial services, and his wife, Tina LaRosa, following the crash near the corner of Belmont Avenue and John Street minutes before midnight.
Corrado LaRosa, 49, was driving a Fiat 500 Abarth that collided with a Nissan Murano driven by Anthony Crespo, 21, of Oakland.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:33 a.m. and his wife pronounced at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson at 12:44 a.m. , Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Haledon Police Chief Angelo J. Daniele said in a joint release.
Crespo also was taken to St. Joe's, where he was treated for minor injuries, they said.
No charges were immediately filed, Valdes and Daniele said, adding that an investigation was continuing.
“We know just how important Corrado LaRosa is to this community," Haldeon Schools Supt. Christopher Wacha said in a robocall to the community Sunday morning. "He and his wife, through their kindness, work-ethic, and core values, have impacted so many lives.
"[W]e are so grateful at HPS for every moment we had with Corrado."
“Haledon PPS and Manchester Regional High School have lost great pillars of our community,” one shocked parent wrote.
Both "will be missed tremendously," Haledon Board of Education President George Guzman said. "The Haledon Public School District Board of Education extends its deepest condolences to the LaRosa Family and our school community, including our faculty and staff, during this difficult time. #Wildcats, we will get through this together."
School administrators were meeting Sunday afternoon to arrange grief counseling for students and staff, the superintendent said.
“This loss is going to weigh heavily on the entire community and we will do our best to provide necessary services for students and staff as they navigate their emotions through this difficult process,” Wacha said.
“Thank you so much, Corrado, for all you have given to our students and staff. We miss you and will never forget you.”
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ALSO SEE: Two occupants were ejected in a crash Saturday night on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights.
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