Mourners struggle with deaths of 3 camp counselors

Outside of Our Lady of Victory Church in Outside of Our Lady of Victory Church in Floral Park, friends and family of the three victims struggle to make sense of the sudden deaths. (July 15, 2010) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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The crash that killed a trio of camp counselors Thursday had friends and family struggling to make sense out of the sudden deaths of three promising Long Islanders.

For Jim Malone of Floral Park, the father of victims Jamie and Paige Malone, their deaths brought a shocking end to a week that began with celebration and planning for the future.

Michael Mulhall, 22, of Floral Park, also was killed in the crash.

Jamie, 22, had just graduated from the University of Richmond and had accepted a job teaching in Richmond, Jim Malone said. The family had just thrown her a graduation party to celebrate.

"Graduation party last Saturday and today we are here," said Jim Malone, who planned to go apartment shopping with Jamie next week.

He said his daughter Paige, 19, was going into her junior year at the University of Richmond.

Outside the Malone home in Floral Park, a large crowd gathered. People stood hugging and crying for hours. The sisters were two of four children.

Both sisters were members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at the university, according to The Collegian, a student newspaper at the school.

Friends and neighbors remembered Mulhall as an extraordinarily kind young man who loved playing hockey.

Chris Samma, 22, who lives two doors down from Mulhall's childhood home in Floral Park, said he and Mulhall grew up together.

"Mike was willing to do anything for anyone," Samma said. "He was the nicest kid you'll ever meet. And such a fun person to be around."

Mulhall graduated from Chaminade High School in 2006, then went on to attend the University of Scranton.

The Rev. James Williams, president of Chaminade High School, said Mulhall was popular and stayed busy with athletics.

"Michael was a great young man with a wonderful sense of humor," Williams said. "He was very involved with hockey at Chaminade and had a large corps of very close and tight friends."

With Evan Klonsky

and Tula Batanchiev

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