‘Best’ Father and ‘Precious’ 2 Children Perish in Accident While Driving to Pick Up N.J. Mom for Date Night.

A mother in New Jersey is grieving the deaths of her longtime fiancé and their two kids in a car accident.

According to a press release from the Andover Township Police Department (ATPD), Andrew Benavente, 36, of Newton, and his two kids, Andrew Jr., 13, and Madelyn, 5, were heading along Newton-Sparta Road on Friday when they were engaged in a head-on accident.

According to police, a 2021 Jeep Rubicon was going westbound at 4 p.m. local time when it overtook the double yellow lines and went into the eastbound lane, colliding with a 2001 Ford Ranger truck.

The Ranger exploded into flames after the accident. At the site, all three passengers were confirmed deceased.

The Rubicon’s driver was taken to Morristown Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

First responders tried to rescue Andrew, A.J., and Madelyn on Friday, but the flames had become too strong for them to combat.

An investigation is now underway.

According to a GoFundMe account created in support of the family, Digna Melendez-Benavente, Andrew’s lifelong love and the mother of their children, was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

She was waiting for him to pick her up from work so they could drop off the kids before heading out for their weekly date night.

The entire Melendez and Benavente families have been left utterly heartbroken by this terrible loss, her brother said in a post published on the fundraising website.

Digna Melendez-Benavente is now faced with the painful challenge of having to say goodbye, he said. She will require all of the help and care.

Andrew, a former Newark police officer, and Digna, a Sephora cosmetics artist, have been together for 15 years. There was no better dad than Andrew, stated the bereaved mother. He was the greatest of all time. He looked after all of them.

Her babies were precious, she said about the kids. She remembers A.J. as “a smart boy” who earned honor roll and aspired to be a police officer “like the rest of the family.”

She went on to call her daughter “a firecracker” who “was sassy, bossy, and sweet” and desired to rule the world.” As of Tuesday, more than $80,000 had been contributed to help the family.

The funeral ceremony “to honor and remember the lives of Andrew, AJ, and Madelyn” has not yet been announced.

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