Outpouring of support for family that lost 5 killed in Del. 1 crash

TOWNSEND — In the aftermath of a horrific crash that claimed the lives of a New Jersey father and his four daughters Friday afternoon and hospitalized the family’s mother, a public fundraising campaign raised nearly $30,000 in hours.

Condolences and well wishes poured in for the family members who were killed and injured in a three-vehicle crash on Del. 1 near Townsend on Friday at 3:47 p.m.

A gofundme campaign started on behalf of the “Trinidad Family Tragedy & Support” exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 within three hours on Saturday. By 6 p.m., it had moved past $26,000 and was actively growing.

“I feel so bad for this family,” Delaware State Police spokeswoman Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said at a Friday night press conference. “I cannot imagine what they’re going through. To lose four children in a crash, it’s just something that is unheard of.”

According to the gofundme page, the family members were Audie and Mary Rose Trinidad and their daughters, Kaitlyn, 20, Danna, 17, and 13-year-old twins Allison and Melissa, who were returning to New Jersey when the accident occurred.

Sunday morning, Delaware State Police did confirm the names of Audie and Kaitlyn Trinidad but did not identify the others in the vehicle beyond the ages of those involved.

Police said Mr. Trinidad was properly restrained and pronounced deceased at the scene, along with his four daughters who were not properly restrained and pronounced deceased at the scene. His 53-year-old wife was properly restrained in the front passenger seat and was transported to a local hospital.

Cpl. Jaffe said Saturday afternoon, “At this time I have no further updates on the condition of the (minivan’s surviving) passenger. As of last evening she was reported with serious injuries that were non-life threatening,” Cpl. Jaffe said.

The gofundme account organizers included a post: “Thank you everyone for your thoughtful words and kind donations. We have connected with Audie’s eldest brother and sister-in-law and they are both overwhelmed with the love and support received. They have confirmed that Mary Rose is stable and alert and will share additional information as appropriate. Please continue to keep the family in prayer.”

To learn more or make a donation, visit: gofundme.com/trinidad-family-tragedy-amp-support

Car crosses median

Three other people in other vehicles suffered non-life threatening injuries in the Friday crash that closed all lanes of Del. 1 for miles in its aftermath, authorities said.

According to police, the crash occurrred when a southbound “work-style pickup truck” crossed the center median into the northbound lane just north of Pine Tree Road for unknown reasons and struck another vehicle before colliding with a minivan occupied by the Teaneck family.

The 2007 Ford F-350 truck was driven by a 44-year-old man from East New Market, Maryland, identified Sunday morning as Alvin S. Hubbard Jr. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries. He was properly restrained, police said.

The front driver’s side of the F-350 struck the left rear side of a 2002 Mercury Sable,  driven by 24-year-old Brian C. Kern of Bethlehem, Pa., that was traveling northbound on Del. 1. That caused the Sable to spin out of control and come to a rest in an embankment, according to police.

The F-350 continued out of control southbound in the northbound lanes, police said, when the front of the 1998 Toyota Sienna struck the truck’s passenger side.

The impact caused both vehicles to be displaced off the edge of the roadway and into a ditch.

The truck’s passenger, a 30-year-old man from Hurlock, Maryland, was properly restrained and was also transported to a local area hospital, police said, where he was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries.

Mr. Kern was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries, police said. Police added that he was properly restrained and impairment didn’t seem to be a factor for him.

Police said Saturday that southbound Del. 1 in the area of Pine Tree Road was closed for approximately 90 minutes following the crash and the northbound lanes were closed for approximately five hours.

The crash continues to remain under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.

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