The week-long trip to Ocean City was the real start of summer for the Trinidads, the latest iteration of a sun-, crab- and family-filled tradition that had endured even as four daughters hurtled toward adulthood.
Kaitlyn, 20, was in college, and 17-year-old Danna, who played on her high school’s volleyball team, was headed there in the fall. The two youngest, 13-year-old twins Melissa and Allison, were starting high school in a few months and planned to try out for the team.
But, on Friday afternoon, their plans were cut short.
With the family about two hours from their home in Teaneck, N.J., a heavy-duty pickup on the other side of Highway 1 crossed the grassy median in Townsend, Del., according to Delaware State Police. Now traveling in the wrong direction, the truck clipped a white sedan, spun out of control and ended up directly in the path of the Trinidads’ Toyota Sienna minivan.
Passersby poured onto the highway in an attempt to save the occupants of the battered van, but it was too late. All four daughters died in the in the back of the vehicle, 150 miles from home. None of them were wearing seat belts.
Also pronounced dead was their father, Audie Trinidad, who had come to the United States from the Philippines in the 1980s, asked a woman from his home country to be his wife and set down roots in Teaneck.
His wife, Mary Rose Ballocanag, 53, was the only person in the van who survived. She was being treated at Christiana Hospital for broken ribs, arms and legs, her family members said. But their biggest concern was not her physical injuries.
“How are you going to bury five people at the same time?” Trinidad’s brother, Daniel, told the…