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Grief for 3 counselors killed in Meadowbrook crash

Jim Malone, left, the father of Paige and

Jim Malone, left, the father of Paige and Jamie Malone, takes in the tragic news along with his son, Terrence, on Thursday. (July 15, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A day after the fatal Meadowbrook State Parkway crash stirred waves of grief as far away as Virginia, the people who knew three camp counselors who perished struggled to cope with loss while organizing events in the victims' honor.

They praised the trio's contributions at work, school and in the "tightly knit" Floral Park community they called home.

"They were all good kids," said Patrick Murphy, 52, whose daughter, Kelly, one of the two survivors, was a passenger in the car that veered off the parkway. "They grew up together, went to school together, worked at the camp together. It's a real tight-knit community and everybody's hurting."

Funeral services are planned for Monday on Long Island for Jamie Malone, 22, and Paige Malone, 20. A memorial service is also planned for Monday at the University of Richmond in Virginia, the college both women - and two of their siblings, Terence and Daphne - had attended.

A funeral service for Michael Mulhall, 22, also killed in the crash, is planned for Tuesday.

"My heart breaks for these other families," Murphy said. "My child is still around, but there are no words to describe how they must be feeling."

Kelly Murphy and Justine Mulhall, Michael's sister and the driver of the car, survived the crash and were treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said.

Justine Mulhall was released Friday but Murphy remained listed in stable condition.

State police have not released in-depth details about the 8:50 a.m. crash. They ruled out alcohol as a contributor, but have not explained why the southbound car swerved from the left lane to the right, overshot the shoulder and struck a tree during the counselors' commute to work at Camp Anchor in Lido Beach.

In Floral Park Friday, neighbors carted plates of food to the victims' homes and police officers directed traffic in the tree-lined neighborhood.

In Richmond, University of Richmond president Edward L. Ayers, said the campus' flag will be lowered to half-staff to mark the deaths. "This family is our family," he said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies are with the Malone and Mulhall families." Ayers and members of his staff will attend the funeral Monday.

Professor Andy Litteral said Paige Malone impressed him in his business statistics course with her analyses of the Virginia Supreme Court legal briefs. "She was great to have in class," Litteral said. "She was pleasant. She participated in class a lot, and she made the class better for her fellow students and me."

The Malone sisters loved their adopted state so much one planted roots. Jamie Malone was a student teacher last year at Maybeury Elementary School in Richmond and was scheduled to teach there full-time this fall, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Joe Lentini, coordinator of Camp Anchor, which caters to the disabled, said officials have not told all campers of the tragedy because many of them, who suffer from a range of disorders, may not be able to handle the anxiety that might result. The camp plans to launch a fundraiser for a scholarship for counselors committed to careers in public service.


The Funerals


Paige and Jamie Malone

VISITING Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., Dalton Funeral Home, Atlantic Avenue in Floral Park.

FUNERAL MASS Monday, 9:30 a.m., Our Lady of Victory Church, Floral Park

MEMORIAL SERVICE Monday, 9:30 a.m., Cannon Memorial Chapel at the University of Richmond

Michael Mulhall

VISITING Sunday, 7 to 9:30 p.m., and Monday, 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m., Dalton Funeral Home, Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park

FUNERAL MASS Tuesday, 10:15 a.m., Our Lady of Victory Church in Floral Park

DONATIONS The Malone family asks for donations in lieu of flowers to the Camp Anchor Building Fund, 630 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach, N.Y., 11561.

With Evan Klonsky, staff writers Yamiche Alcindor, Matthew Chayes and Zeke Miller


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