Shock mixed with sadness Saturday as word spread that a Teaneck father and his four daughters were killed and his wife hospitalized in a violent highway crash in Delaware.
In barely half a day, people contributed nearly $65,000 to the lone survivor, 53-year-old Mary Rose Ballocanag, on a GoFundMe campaign launched by family friend Arlinda Douglas.
A Saturday night memorial at Votee Park drew hundreds who mourned the deaths of Audie Marquez Trinidad, 61, and daughters Kaitlyn, 20; Danna, 17; and 13-year-old twins Melissa and Allison, who were all killed when their minivan collided with a wrong-way pickup truck Friday afternoon on Route 1.
Mary Rose remained hospitalized with serious injuries but was expected to survive.
"This morning, I received word that the patriarch of the Trinidad family and all his four daughters died from a car accident in Delaware last night," wrote William Edward Beavers V. "I knew one of them, Kaitlyn, for most of my life. Even though we haven't talked a lot, she was still a very sweet person.
"I just prayed that these five good people rest in peace and that what is left of the family be protected from here on out," he wrote on Facebook.
Sara Contreras of Showtime's "Original Latin Divas of Comedy" knew Danna, whom she called "a lovely and brilliant Teaneck HS student and beloved friend of my extended family.
"Make every day a new opportunity to value yourself, your family and your friends," Contreras added on Instagram. "Life is too precious and it can all be taken in a second. We grieve as a community for this beautiful family. It's incredibly sad and incomprehensible."
Both from the Philipines, Trinidad and Ballocanag came to the U.S. more than three decades ago and met in New York. Trinidad, a postal worker in the Bronx, served in the U.S. Navy. His wife is a nurse at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in lower Manhattan.
Kaitlyn Trinidad attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. Danna was a junior at Teaneck High School, while the twins attended Thomas Jefferson Middle School in town.
"The Lord took too many angels from us yesterday," the Filipino American Society of Teaneck posted on its Facebook page. "Audie, Kaitlyn, Dana, Allison and Melissa Trinidad. Rest In Peace."
According to Delaware State Police, a southbound commercial F-350 pickup crossed the Route 1 median “for unknown reasons” Friday afternoon, struck a sedan, then continued south in the northbound lanes before colliding with the Trinidad family's Toyota Sienna.
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