A New York City couple and a man engaged to their daughter have died in a car crash upstate, police say.
The family was returning from the Catskills Monday when their vehicle rolled over several times on Route 17 in Mamakating, state police said. Morris and Beth Faitelewicz, ages 58 and 54, respectively, and Yehuda Bayme, 31, died in the crash.
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The Faitelewiczes' grown children, who are in their mid to late 20s, were also in the car and taken to the hospital in critical condition, but they were improving, a family friend said. Oldest son Yaakov sustained three broken fingers, daughter Shani is in critical condition and youngest son Avi, who just graduated with a degree in engineering, is also in critical condition, officials say.
Bayme and Shani Faitelewicz got engaged on June 28, and were set to wed next year, relatives said.
Morris Faitelewicz, a volunteer Hatzolah medic, and Beth Faitelewicz, an emergency room nurse at Beth Israel, were both well known on the Lower East Side, where they lived. They both worked in the Sept. 11 recovery operations, family friends said; Morris was among the first to rush to the World Trade Center, and Beth recounted the harrowing hospital tales from the attacks to friends.
"She always told the story how she and her coworkers waited for survivors, victims to come in wounded from 9/11, and nobody ever came. That's when they realized there were no survivors," said family friend Betty Goodman, who's known the family for almost 20 years.
Morris was also a longtime member of Community Board 3 and served as an auxiliary police officer for over 30 years.
"They were hardworking, just a good family, welcomed everyone into their home," Goodman said.
"I can't comprehend. I'm literally in shock, the whole neighborhood is in shock," said another family friend, Ira Keller.