Jason Trinca’s ‘final laps’ around his beloved Riverhead Raceway

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | A hearse carrying the body of 7-year-old Jason Trinca crosses the finish line at Riverhead Raceway Tuesday. The funeral procession took a detour from Center Moriches to take the boy's body to the track where he raced go-karts.

At Riverhead Raceway Monday, about 30 minutes before a funeral procession carrying the remains of 7-year-old Jason Trinca was to arrive, Jason’s go-kart racing friend, Eddie Fascher, 9, of East Northport, stood at the checkerboard finish line where raceway staffers had painted a yellow and purple No. 48 — Jason’s racing colors and number.

“We had fun racing,” Eddie said as he tugged on a memorial shirt given to him during a candlelight vigil last Tuesday night at Eastport-South Manor High School, where Jason would have attended school. “I’ll always remember how funny he acted when he would take off his helmet after winning.”

Later, a hearse carrying Jason’s remains drove three final laps at the Route 58 raceway — where purple and yellow mums adorned the track — as Jason’s dad stood at the finish line waving a checkered flag at each pass.

Jason, an avid go-kart racer, and his mother, Keri Trinca, 30, spent most of their weekends during the warmer months at the Riverhead track, where Jason was a member of the go-kart club. Both mother and son were killed in a two-car crash in Manorville last Saturday, Oct. 8, that also critically injured the family’s two other young children.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Pallbearers carry the casket of Keri Trinca, in the foreground, and her son Jason, in the background, who were both killed in a car crash in Manorville last week.

Mourners who attended funeral services earlier Monday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Center Moriches wore yellow ties and purple hair adornments to memorialize Jason.

Deer Park siblings Terry and Paul Cantone, who are close with the Trinca family, 0f Manorville, said they are also organizing a motorcycle ride event to help raise funds to cover the family’s medical expenses.

“I just hope that everybody remembers, even after the media leaves, and continues to show them support,” Mr. Cantone said.

Ms. Trinca, 30, was driving eastbound on Oceanview Boulevard extension about 8:30 a.m. Saturday when her 1998 Honda Accord entered the intersection of County Road 111 and collided with a southbound 2002 Ford E350 van driven by Steven Vonfricken, according to Suffolk police.

She died at the scene. Jason was transported by Manorville Community Ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where he later died from his injuries. Ms. Trinca’s 4-year-old daughter Marialena and 2-year-old son Christopher were taken via police helicopter to Stony Brook University Medical Center in critical condition. Though Christopher was discharged on Friday, Oct. 14, Marialena remains in critical condition.

Outside the church on Monday, Mr. Cantone focused on telling reporters about Jason’s racing accomplishments.

“He won trophies bigger than you,” Mr. Cantone told a News-Review reporter.

Jason’s pal Eddie said Jason’s nickname was “rock star,” which is also how Mr. Cantone described him.

“He was destined to be famous,” Mr. Cantone said.

The remains of Jason and his mother, whose hearse was not driven around the track but was parked at the finish line, were taken to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram for burial.

Relatives and friends are still hoping to raise enough money to help Jason’s father, Jay Trinca, be able to handle medical bills and possibly take off from work for a year to care for his two surviving children. To make a donation, visit the Trinca Motorsports Facebook page and click the donate button on the left, or send checks payable to the Trinca family to P.O. Box 176, Kings Park, NY 11754.

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