The mom purchased a lovely new outfit for her daughter's kindergarten graduation, which was in two weeks. She will now have to wear it at her burial.
On the afternoon of May 26, Digna Melendez-Benavente was eagerly waiting for her beloved fiancé, Andrew Benavente, to pick her up after work for their weekly date night. After dropping off the kids, A.J., 13, and Madelyn 5, at relatives in Newark, the two of them would go out for dinner. She instead received a phone call that would forever change her life: her entire family had died in a devastating car crash, per PEOPLE.
Bruce Cseh crossed the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic and collided with Andrew Benavente's 2001 Ford Ranger pickup with so much power that it instantly burst into flames, per NorthJersey.com. The scene of the accident was a nightmare as the first responders had no chance to rescue the three. Despite their efforts, the fierce flames didn't leave any hope of saving them, as per Andover Township Police Department's news release.
"My babies were precious. My husband was precious. People all over the world wish they had what I had," Digna Melendez-Benavente said. https://t.co/wP8ejgVRk2— NorthJersey.com (@northjersey) May 29, 2023
Digna, the grief-stricken mother, is utterly devastated by the harrowing loss. "My babies were precious. My husband was precious. People all over the world wish they had what I had," Digna said. "There was no better father than Andrew. It was important to me to find the one that would be the best father. He was the best of the best. He took care of all of us," she recalled. Digna and her husband were companions through everything. "It didn't matter how hard the world kept hitting us, we took it all as a team," Digna said, "Now I got no team."
A GoFundMe campaign started by Digna's brother, Edwin, states that both families "are left completely devastated by this horrible loss." Edwin also thinks of the couple as a very good team. "They were always having get-togethers. They used any excuse to gather the family together and make parties," Edwin shared of her wonderful sister and brother-in-law. He also described Andrew as "a big teddy bear of a man with a loving heart." He shared, "He was always smiling. He was our rock. He didn't deserve an end like this."
Digna and Andrew's paths intertwined after his police academy graduation and her cosmetology degree. Despite the hardships of multiple miscarriages, they were blessed with a healthy son, A.J. followed by a daughter, Madelyn. "A.J. was our miracle baby. He always took good care of his sister," Digna said.
Digna Melendez-Benavente was waiting for Andrew Benavente and their two children, AJ, 13, and Madelyn 5, on Friday afternoon in Andover, NJ. But after two calls confirming her family were on their way, they never showed up pic.twitter.com/tNqcHxoSoT— News News News (@NewsNew97351204) May 29, 2023
Digna purchased a lovely new outfit for her daughter's kindergarten graduation, which was in two weeks. Madelyn, who never had the opportunity to try it on, will now have to wear it at her burial. "Madelyn was a firecracker," Digna recalled. "She was sassy and bossy and sweet. She wanted to rule the world."
An investigation is still ongoing in the case. "This was a very tragic accident, and we feel for the families," the police chief said.
A 5-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy killed in Andover wrong-way crash that left 4 dead https://t.co/W0dIBlJIK8— NorthJersey.com (@northjersey) May 28, 2023
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe