Funeral Held for Army Major, 36, Killed with Two Daughters in Tragic Kentucky Car Crash
A GoFundMe page was created for the family and has since raised over $190,000
A funeral was held on Monday for the 36-year-old U.S. Army Major who was killed with his two young daughters in a Kentucky car crash over Memorial Day weekend.
Agustin “Augie” Gonzalez was with three of his children, Noelle Gonzalez, 6, Gwendolyn Gonzalez, 2, and Nicholas Gonzalez, 8, when his 2013 Dodge Caravan struck a tow truck that had stopped in the lanes to help a driver who had been involved in a previous crash, according to CBS affiliate WKYT. Their 8-year-old son survived the accident.
Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the news outlet, while daughters Noelle and Gwendolyn were taken to two separate hospitals, where they later died. Nicholas, who experienced minor injuries and survived, was hospitalized, the outlet reported.
His wife, Melissa Gonzalez, and their newborn son, Gabriel, were on a flight to meet them in Colorado Springs, Colorado, an update from a GoFundMe page set up for the family said. Military officials and family friends were at their home when Gonzalez arrived and gave her the news.
A visitation for Gonzalez and his daughters was at the Greenville Memorial Home in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Sunday, according to NJ.com. A funeral mass was held on Monday morning at St. Aedan’s Church in Jersey City, PEOPLE confirms.
According to the NJ.com, Gonzalez earned his master’s degree in public policy from Duke University through the Downing Scholars Program, and then returned to active duty.
A GoFundMe page was created for the family and has since raised over $190,000.
Gonzalez’s high school, Saint Peter’s Prep, where he graduated in 2001, wrote on their website that “Augie is remembered by classmates, teachers and coaches as an energetic, determined and genuine leader during his four years at Prep. Augie made himself known within the Prep community as a four-year member of Prep’s football and baseball teams, Latin American Society, and as an Outstanding Freshman in 1998.”
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After graduating from Duke, they added, he and his family moved from North Carolina to Fort Carson, Colorado, and “never failed to proudly express his gratitude for the values instilled in him throughout his time at Prep, and how he would apply those lessons learned into his education, his service, and his never-ending love for his family.”
During his service, he was deployed four times to Afghanistan and received numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars and two Meritorious Service Medals, according to the school.
His wife Melissa worked as a second-grade teacher at Horton’s Creek Elementary until the couple welcomed Gabriel, their fourth child, in March.
In an update on the GoFundMe page, they asked that the public respect “Melissa’s privacy at this time and please send any prayers and condolences through this site.”