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At Pinales funeral for three, mourners told of their gifts, joy

The three coffins of Carmelo Pinales, his sister

The three coffins of Carmelo Pinales, his sister Patricia Pinales and his 10-year-old son Cristopher Pinales Figuereo are carried into St. Martha's Catholic Church in Uniondale on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Three members of one family were remembered for their diligence and mega smiles as their coffins lined a church’s center aisle on Friday.

At the funeral of Carmelo Pinales, his son, Cristopher and his sister Patricia Pinales, killed in a three-car crash Sunday on the Long Island Expressway, the homily touched on the power of love to overcome sorrows and hard times.

“These things, this joy that they brought to us and you brought to them, these are gifts that God gives to us,” Robert Brennan, auxiliary bishop with the Diocese of Rockville Centre, told about 200 mourners in St. Martha Roman Catholic Church in Uniondale.

Brennan said love between the three and their families, and God’s love “is stronger than any power in this world.”

“Nothing, nobody, not even death, can take away our bonds of love.”

Carmelo Pinales, 26, of Hicksville, Cristopher, 10, and Patricia Pinales, 27, of Westbury, were the last of six victims of the crash, between Exits 68 and 69 in Manorville, to be laid to rest.

Brennan delivered his homily mostly in Spanish and relatives gave readings in Spanish.

Brennan said mourners talked about Cristopher’s smile and how he brought joy to people. Patricia was “a mother filled with love” who worried about others, and Carmelo was “a caregiver, a hard worker,” Brennan said.

A prayer card showed a smiling picture of the three.

Everyone feels “that sting and that pain and the sorrow of death ... no getting around that,” Brennan said.

“It’s because we love so much that we hurt so much,” Brennan said.

One of Pinales’ cousins sobbed loudly as mourners comforted him.

Carmelo Pinales was devoted to his son and worked four jobs, his girlfriend Ivonne Luque told Newsday this week. Pinales was taking his son to celebrate his birthday at Splish Splash Water Park in Riverhead when the crash happened.

Pinales’ Subaru Outback, heading east on the LIE, careened across a grassy median, became airborne and struck a BMW and a Honda Accord in the westbound lanes about 9:35 a.m. Pinales and his sister, a passenger in the Subaru, died at the scene.

Scott Martella, 29, of Northport, the driver of the Honda, and Cristopher died later Sunday at Stony Brook University Hospital.

A Westhampton couple — Isidore Adelson, 81, and his wife, Helen, 71, who were passengers in the BMW, also died as result of the crash.

The BMW’s driver, Marvin Tenzer, 73, and his wife, Sandra, were injured. So was Martella’s fiancee, a passenger in the Honda, and another passenger in the Subaru.

The youngest survivor is Patricia Pinales’ daughter, Analia Ramirez Pinales, 3.

Suffolk police first said witnesses told them Carmelo Pinales was speeding when he veered off the road to avoid hitting traffic that slowed in a work zone.

But authorities later said they had not determined Pinales’ speed and might not be able to because the SUV was so mangled. Luque, who was in a car ahead of her boyfriend Pinales, said he wasn’t speeding.

Outside the church, Carmelo Pinales’ uncle Federico Pinales said he was so overcome with grief, his wife held him up at the service. “This is a huge family, and Carmelo and Patricia and his son were the leaders of the family,” said Pinales, of Rockville Centre.


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