CAPE CHARLES, Va. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two New Jersey residents were killed and more than three dozen others were injured Thursday morning after an estimated EF-1 tornado struck at a campground in Virginia.
At around 9 a.m., the sky turned black and cellphones pinged with emergency messages. Moments later, a fierce storm tore through the sprawling, carnival-like campground of Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort, snapping dozens of trees and flipping over RVs.
A tree toppled onto a tent, killing Lord Balatbat and his wife, Lolibeth Ortega, both of Jersey City.
All three of the couple’s children — ages 6, 11 and 13 — were hospitalized, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. The oldest suffered critical injuries, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“Their 13-year-old son was in a neighboring tent. A tree fell on that tent,” said Corinne Geller, with Virginia State Police. “He was one of three transported to King’s Daughters hospital. He has life-threatening injuries.”
An additional 36 people were hurt, officials said.
The trip was one Balatbat, Ortega and their kids looked forward to every year, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
“They’re just the greatest people that I’ve known,” Carlyle Bascoe, a close friend of the family, told Haskell.