Retired priest, sister killed in Freehold crash

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(Photo Credit: Shalu Naso) Fr. Michael Guglielmelli of the St. Francis Church in Hoboken baptizes the daughter of Shalu and Robert Naso. Fr. Guglielmelli and his sister (not pictured) were killed in a crash Sunday evening in Freehold Township. (Photo Credit: Shalu Naso) Fr. Michael Guglielmelli of the St. Francis Church in Hoboken baptizes the daughter of Shalu and Robert Naso. Fr. Guglielmelli and his sister (not pictured) were killed in a crash Sunday evening in Freehold Township.
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP -

A retired priest and his sister died Sunday evening in a two-vehicle crash in Freehold Township, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

Gramiccioni said the collision happened around 6:45 p.m. in the eastbound lane of County Route 537 near the intersection of Wemrock Road.

A 2005 Dodge Caravan was stopped at a red light in the right lane of Route 537 near Wemrock Road when a 2012 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck collided into the rear of the minivan. Both vehicles sustained a significant amount of damage, the prosecutor said.

Fr. Michael Guglielmelli, 81, of the St. Francis Church in Hoboken and his sister, Dolores Guglielmelli, 87, were taken from the scene to hospitals, where they died as a result of their injuries.

The siblings were passengers in the Dodge Caravan. Two additional passengers suffered injuries and were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township, where they remain hospitalized. The driver of the Dodge Caravan, a 55-year old North Brunswick man, was also taken to JSUMC, where he was treated and released.

A 19-year-old Freehold Township man, who was the driver and sole occupant of the Honda pickup truck, sustained a minor arm injury in the crash. He was treated and released.

No charges have been filed at this time.

The crash remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team, and Freehold Township Police Department.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or observed the movement of the Honda prior to the crash should contact Officer Michael Smith, of the Freehold Township Police Department at 732-462-7908, extension 6189.

Hundreds of people attended a special Mass held Tuesday at St. Francis Church in memory of Fr. Guglielmelli, who had celebrated the 47th anniversary of his year of ordination just one week ago.

Most of those who attended the memorial remembered Fr. Guglielmelli from their weddings, baptisms or other landmark moments in their lives.

Lilian Seman was married by Fr. Guglielmelli in 1976. She says the retired priest also baptized and married her son just three years ago.

"He had so much energy," Seman said. "I would never think that this could occur. He just looked like he could go on forever."

People who knew the priest say his legacy will make sure that everything at St. Francis Church in Hoboken will keep going.

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