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Gov’t mourns death of 5 Fil-Ams in Delaware car crash

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has joined the Filipino Community in mourning the deaths of five members of a Filipino-American family in a highway accident in Delaware on Friday.

“We join our kababayan in the United States in mourning the loss of five members of a Filipino-American family in a highway tragedy near Townsend, Delaware,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement.

The Philippine Consulate General in New York said the accident claimed the lives of Audie Trinidad, 61, and his daughters -- Kaitlyn, 20, Danna, 17, and 14-year-old twins Melissa and Allison. His wife, Mary Rose Ballocanag, sustained serious injuries but is expected to survive.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones in the United States and in the Philippines they left behind,” Cayetano said.

“We shall include the Trinidad family in our prayers.”

New York Consul General Claro Cristobal said the family was returning to their home in Teaneck, New Jersey from Ocean City, Maryland when the accident happened.

Cristobal said the victims were headed north on Highway Route 1 near Townsend, Delaware, when a pickup truck traveling the opposite direction crossed the median and collided with their minivan.

The Consulate General earlier extended its sympathies and Deputy Consul General Kerwin Orville Tate to the hospital where Mrs. Trinidad is confined to see what assistance could be extended to the family.

“The Philippine Consulate General in New York wished to express its deepest condolences to the bereaved Trinidad family and joins the Filipino community in mourning the tragic loss of exemplary members of the community,” the Consulate General said in a statement.

On Saturday, a vigil in memory of the victims was held in Teaneck, New Jersey, that was attended by local officials, relatives, neighbors and other members of the community.

Audie Trinidad was a postal worker and Mary Rose is a nurse at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

Their oldest daughter Kaitlyn was a nursing student at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx.