Long Island couple who died in Easton crash leave behind 4-year-old twins
Only snapshots remain of the happy smiles and sun-kissed skin that hint at the life Robert and Donna Gregory built together.
Donna, 37, cuddles with their blonde 4-year-old twins on the beach in one family photo posted on her MySpace page. Robert, 43, smiles sleepily from a chair on a boat in another.
From those photos, it seemed there were always blue skies for the beach-loving couple from the eastern end of Long Island.
But as they headed to Boston in hopes of a longer, fuller life together — seeking treatment for Robert’s cancer — their lives were instead cut short when the single-engine plane they were in plummeted into an Easton parking lot Tuesday morning.
The Riverhead, N.Y., couple had left their twins home and were headed to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston on a plane flown by a volunteer pilot.
All three in the plane died instantly and the cause of the crash remains unknown, authorities have said.
“This is a horrible, unexpected loss,” said Dana-Farber President Dr. Edward J. Benz, in a statement. “The Dana-Farber staff and I are anxious to do whatever we can to support the family at this time, as well as the staff here who cared for them.”
Although the cancer center’s representatives would not release any information about the Gregory’s case, a link on the MySpace page offers a clue as to the type of cancer they had sought to conquer.
Donna had been raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for their annual “Light The Night Walk.”
She had collected $895 — just $105 shy of her $1,000 goal — as part of a walk team representing Suffolk County Community College.
“They were the nicest people you’d ever want to know,” said Miriam Kirschner, who lives next door to the family.
She said the Gregorys had moved in about six years ago, but said she didn’t know much about their personal lives.
“I’m a senior citizen,” she said, by way of explanation. “They were young people.”
Another neighbor who lived down the street said she did not know the couple. Others did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Donna listed her occupation as “busy mommy” on her MySpace page.
The site also noted she had earned an associate’s degree in veterinary science in 1994 on Long Island and a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2003 in Saratoga Springs from the State University of New York system.
Jessica Scarpati can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.