5 Family Members Killed in Delaware Head-on Crash Identified as Father, Four Daughters

The crash shut down Delaware Route 1, a major link to the state's beaches, for hours which backed up traffic for miles

UPDATE: Family members of the five killed expressed disbelief and grief on Saturday. "I don't understand why these things happen. The whole family wiped out in the blink of an eye," one member told NBC New York. For the newest story, click here

A father and his four daughters from New Jersey died in a head-on crash in Delaware on Friday afternoon, police said, when a pickup truck veered across a grassy median and struck the family's minivan.

Four other people — including the mother of the daughters in the minivan — were injured.

State Police said the family is from Teaneck, New Jersey. Family members identified them as Audie Trinidad, 61, and his daughters 20-year-old Nikki, 17-year-old Danna and 13-year-old twins Allison and Melissa.

Trinidad and his wife were wearing seatbelts, but the four daughters were not, police said.

State police Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said the brown pickup truck was traveling southbound on Delaware Route 1 through Townsend when it drifted off the road, through the grassy median and into northbound traffic.

The truck driver was also not yet identified as of Saturday morning. Police did say he is a 44-year-old from Maryland. He and a 30-year-old passenger, also from Maryland, were taken to a hospital, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.

The truck struck another car before slamming into the white minivan.

Police said the investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. Detectives did not release a preliminary cause.

"It’s certainly heartbreaking as you can imagine, those of us that have families and children, I mean, I feel so bad for this family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through," Jaffe said.


The truck is owned by Aledak Metalworks, Inc. headquartered in East New Market, Maryland, which is about 65 miles southwest from the crash scene.

The driver is from East New Market, police said.

Route 1 — the main route connecting popular beach towns like Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach with the rest of the state — was shut down for miles following the crash that happened at 3:47 p.m. Friday near Pine Tree Road.

Drivers stuck behind the crash were either turned around or diverted onto side-streets.

All lanes were reopened by Saturday morning.

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