JERSEY CITY - A Jersey City couple is dead after a tornado touched down Thursday morning inside a Virginia campground.
The couple's 13-year-old son is in critical condition. Two other children, ages 11 and 6, were not seriously injured.
Police say Lord Balatbat and his wife Lolibeth Ortega, both 38, were killed when a tree fell on their tent during the storm at around 8:30 a.m.
"They're great parents," says family friend Kharl Ibasco. "They would bend over backwards to spend time with their kids."
Ortega worked as a lab technician at Quest Diagnostics in Teterboro, while Balatbat was a shift manager at the Walgreens on JFK Boulevard in Jersey City.
The trip was a family getaway Balatbat's co-worker Melissa Ortiz says he had been talking about. "Everybody's devastated," she says. "We just can't believe it."
As many as 30 others were also injured at the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort in rural Northampton County.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was an EF-1 tornado that developed as a waterspout on the Chesapeake Bay and blasted through Cherry Hill State Park.
Firefighters on scene ahead of the storm say the sky turned "jet black" in the moments before the tornado struck.