Jersey City couple killed, three children hurt after tornado hits Cherrystone Family Camping Resort

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A family is devastated after a couple from Jersey City was killed and their three children were hurt when a tornado ripped through the Cherrystone Family Camping Resort in Cape Charles on Thursday.

During a press conference, officials say a tree fell onto the family while they were in separate tents at the resort.

The couple has been identified as 38-year-old Lord Balatbat and his wife Lolibeth Ortega. Their 13-year-old son Lheandrew is now in critical condition at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters fighting for his life right now.  His sisters 11-year-old Lhareesha and 6-year-old Lheanne  were also hurt and have been hospitalized.

According to WCBS, Lord Balatbat was a store manager of a Walgreens. A co-worker described him as a proud dad who was always smiling and friendly. She says he was friendly and liked to tell jokes.

Lolibeth Ortega was a lab technician. She had just celebrated a birthday on July 22nd.

A close family friend says this family always did things together and attended church regularly. They loved Cherrystone and had been going there for several years. The parents had their own tent and the children were in another.

Family members are now at the hospital with the children.


  • Barbara Smith CEO

    There is nothing that will change the loss this family incurred this morning when a tornado ripped through their families vacation at Cherry stone. These young children lost their parents and one is still fighting for his life from this life changing act of weather. Although we cannot control mother nature, we can control human nature. I am proud to be a part of the EMS system as a ALS provider and now a CEO of a genuine, all about taking of each others families in need ambulance transport company. Tidewater Medical Transport has helped many people get to their medical appointments and obtain the care they needed. We do it because we really care about the quality of life and making sure that these children are taken care of, we are donating our services to transport these kids home for free. We are also donating two thousand dollars to this family for whatever they need. I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and wish this family my condolences. To reach us call 757-399-0999. Sincerely Tidewater Medical Transport, Portsmouth, VA

    • Gareth

      Your post is the most selfish, gratuitous display of ignorance I’ve ever read. Coached in sympathy, you use this tragedy to advertise your own services. A simple ‘sorry for you loss’ would have been sufficient.

    • CryMea River

      Your an idiot. I will be sure to tell everyone I see about your pathetic attempt to promote your company during this time of sadness. I know quite a few people that have donated already and they did not fill the need to broadcast to the world. .

      • Barbara Smith CEO

        I wasn’t trying to promote my company from this tragedy. I was trying to encourage others to donate their help too. I apologize if this was taken as a toot my horn look at me comment. I proudly support EMS, Fire, and the many other agencies and citizens that step up to help others when tragedy hits. Its families supporting their communities and to help one another that brings some peace to those affected during these devastating moments. I really wasn’t trying to take anything from this horrific event. My family has great memories from camping at Cherry Stone as I am sure many others. I just wanted to help them and encourage others to so too. Again I apologize if I offended anyone with my comments.

  • Joe

    I agree with Gareth. You shouldn’t advertise. Just give without telling what you gave. So sad businesses do this all the time. EPIC FAIL

  • Lisa

    Maybe everyone should call the number Ms. Smith provided to tell them what they really think of their ‘services’. Obviously, Ms. Smith doesn’t use very good judgement. Hope it’s not a testament to how they run their business, but sadly it probably is. SMH

  • Barbara Smith CEO

    Why is it that you find the need to retaliate and degrade someone who is able to offer help to a family that just lost their parents. I am not advertising for business I was advocating for other people and companies to step up and help people in need. I am a volunteer ems provider for my local city and have helped on numerous occasions when surrounding cities or agencies needed our help. i don’t care about a profit or financial gain from someone else’s loss. I am just thankful that my company is able to help them. That’s it.

  • Barbara Smith CEO

    Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad is accepting any clothing, non perishable food, or any donations that will help those affected by the storm damage on the Eastern Shore. 428 Market Street Suffolk, Va.

  • a commenter

    Though your intentions and actions to help the family are selfless, the approach to express your feelings here weren’t very well constructed. The amount you donated and whatnot is pretty much highly unnecessary information and the fact that you display business contact information comes off as a sort of “hey look what we did” manner.

    Once again, your contributions are surely going to be appreciated, the execution of your public message however was poorly executed and easily misconstrued and perceived as tacky shameful in this situation. The best approach now would be to simply apologize.

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