2 children, father killed in wrong-way crash in New Jersey

Andrew Benavente, AJ Benavente, Madelyn Benavente died in Andover, NJ crash

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Husband, 2 kids killed in wrong way crash in NJ
A mother from New Jersey is dealing with an unfathomable loss after her husband and two children were killed in a wrong-way crash.

ANDOVER, N.J. -- A mother from New Jersey is dealing with an unfathomable loss after her husband and two children were killed in a wrong way crash.

Digna Melendez-Benavente was wrapped in family love and support on Tuesday afternoon as she held tightly to two blankets that belonged to her beloved children.

The deadly crash happened on Friday at around 4 p.m.

Andover Township police said Bruce Cseh, 22, was driving his 2023 Jeep Rubicon when he suddenly crossed over the double yellow lines into the eastbound lane.

Cseh hit a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup head-on with Andrew Benavente, 36, and his children Andrew Jr. "AJ", 13, and Madelyn, 5, inside.

First responders tried to pull the family from the vehicle and use fire extinguishers but the flames became too intense. All three died at the scene.

Cseh was also trapped in his Jeep and emergency workers used a chain to pull the vehicles apart.

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He was flown to Morristown Hospital and later pronounced dead.

The crash remains under investigation by the Andover Township Police Department and is being assisted by the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office and the Sussex County Sheriff's Department Crash Team.

The mother now has to bury her family that she prayed for so long to have. She lost several pregnancies before her son was born.

A GoFundMe was started by Melendez-Benavente's brother.

"Digna Melendez-Benavente is now faced with the overwhelming task of having to say goodbye to her beloved husband and two children. As a grieving mother and widow, she will need all the support and assistance we can offer. By contributing to this campaign, you will help ease the financial burden on the family and allow them to focus on healing and rebuilding their lives," the campaign said in part.

Andrew Benavente was a former Newark, New Jersey police officer. He worked as a Newark officer from July 11, 2005 until Nov. 30, 2010.

In fact, their families are filled with police officers, a firefighter, corrections officer, an EMT and several others have also served in the military.

Benavente's son was waiting his turn. He said he wanted to be in SWAT.