TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A father who died along with his four daughters in a Delaware highway crash was a native of the Philippines and U. S. Navy veteran who settled in New Jersey to raise his family.
A mass Sunday morning honored 61-year-old Audie Trinidad of Teaneck and his daughters, 20-year-old Kaitlyn, 17-year-old Danna and 13-year-old twins Melissa and Allison.
“They were always so happy, never down,” Teaneck resident Fiona Carter said.
The family was returning from a trip to Ocean City, Maryland, Friday on U.S. Route 1 when police said a pickup truck crossed the median for unknown reasons and hit the minivan and another car.
The girls’ mother, 53-year-old Mary Rose, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries and is expected to survive. Her aunt attended the Sunday memorial service.
“She needs everybody’s prayers,” said Lydia Agas, who had very little sleep after attending a packed vigil Saturday night. Students at Teaneck High School made shirts memorializing Danna, who was a junior.
“She was an amazing young lady, National Honors Society, very active,” said Dean of Students Olivia Betances. “All the siblings were.”
Audi’s brother Danny Trinidad flew in from Florida.
“In the blink of an eye, lost everything,” he said. “My brother’s a nice family man. He loves his family. They all go out during summer break and he takes his kids.”
Members of the congregation recall the family attended mass every Sunday morning, always sitting in the same row.
“It’s hard to wrap our head around it but we are going to get through this together,” said Brigid Dwyer Carter.
Church representatives were also in Delaware on Sunday speaking with Mary Rose, helping her with the complex task of arranging services that will end with five burials. At the family’s home, flowers were left on the lawn as further proof of how much the community cares.
Delaware State police say Audi, who was driving, and his wife, who was in the front passenger seat, were wearing seatbelts. The daughters in the back were not.
Investigators have yet to figure out what caused the driver of the pickup trick, identified as 44-year-old Alvin S. Hubbard, to cross the median into oncoming traffic.
So far, no charges have been filed.
A GoFundMe page that has been set up to help the Trinidad family has already raised more than $100,000. Grief counselors will be made available at Teaneck High School to assist members of the community in coping with the tragedy.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)