Memorial fund created as Point Pleasant, NJ mourns young couple
POINT PLEASANT — Community members are donating generously to a "Cole Young and Sadi Connors memorial" fund setup online, in the wake of a young couple's tragic death in a three-vehicle crash in Illinois.
Young and Connors — whose legal first name was Marsada – had been traveling with their dog, according to a GoFundMe campaign — which said all three were killed in the Friday crash involving a tractor-trailer that barreled into oncoming traffic, as confirmed by Illinois State Police.
The campaign setup on behalf of Christine Kurzweil to cover costs of the memorial service, burial and "scholarships given out in Cole and Sadi's name" had raised more than $24,000 in just two hours on Monday.
A local restaurant shut its doors briefly on Sunday, as the stunned community began to mourn.
"We are a small crew and we work very closely together, so even though they had moved on to full time careers in other fields, they were each still very deeply cherished and stayed a part of our lives," Rosie's Pizza in Point Pleasant Beach said in a Facebook post in tribute to Cole and Sadi.
"They were also each a big part of this community and were taken from us far, far, far too soon," the post continued.
Connors had graduated from Point Pleasant Boro High School in 2019, followed by Young in 2020.
Both were recent residents of Brick, according to authorities.
The driver of the tractor trailer had been cited for improper lane use and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and was being treated for serious injuries in Illinois as of Sunday.
Another vehicle, a Chevy pickup, was first swiped by the truck.
Both occupants of the pickup refused medical treatment following the crash, police said.