Virginia Girl Killed in Irene-Related Crash

Monday, Aug 29, 2011  |  Updated 9:35 PM EDT
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A 15-year-old from Manassas Park is among the dozens of people nationwide who died during Hurricane Irene.

Julie Carey

A 15-year-old from Manassas Park is among the dozens of people nationwide who died during Hurricane Irene.

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A vacation ended in tragedy for a Virginia family courtesy of Hurricane Irene.

The Manassas Park, Va., family was returning home from Myrtle Beach, S.C., when their SUV collided with another SUV in a hurricane-related crash in North Carolina. Katherine Morales Cruz, 15, died in the crash.

The SUVs collided at about 4:15 p.m. at an intersection where the power to the traffic lights was knocked out by Irene, Goldsboro police Capt. Theresa Chiero said. Katherine’s stepfather, Jorge Lopez, tried CPR, but Katherine died at the scene.

Four members of Katherine’s family were thrown from the SUV. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt, police said.

Katherine’s mother suffered facial injuries, and another passenger is in critical condition at a Raleigh hospital, a family friend told News4’s Julie Carey.

Katherine was a soccer goalie at Manassas Park High School – earning the MVP and coaches awards – and she hoped to be on the varsity team in the spring as a sophomore. She also played basketball, managed sports teams and was active in her church youth group.

Friends remembered Katherine – Kathy to her family and Momo to her friends – as always smiling.

Four people died in Virginia and one in Maryland during the hurricane.

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