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Dad and toddler die in crash as NC family drove to beach for girl’s birthday, cops say

Cary family’s trip to beach ends tragically with death of father and daughter in crash

A 2-year-old girl’s birthday celebration ended tragically Thursday, when she and her father were killed while driving from Cary, NC, to Myrtle Beach, as reported by the News & Observer's media partner, ABC11 News.
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A 2-year-old girl’s birthday celebration ended tragically Thursday, when she and her father were killed while driving from Cary, NC, to Myrtle Beach, as reported by the News & Observer's media partner, ABC11 News.

A 2-year-old girl’s birthday celebration ended tragically Thursday, when she and her father were killed while driving from Cary, North Carolina, to Myrtle Beach, reports WWAY and other news outlets.

Mukesh Deshmukh, 37, died at the scene north of Chadbourn in Columbus County and 2-year-old Divija Deshmukh was pronounced dead later that day at a Wilmington hospital, the station reported.

The girl’s mother Monika Deshmukh, who was driving the car, was hospitalized “with critical but not life-threatening injuries,” according to The News Reporter.

Their car caught fire and began to burn shortly at one point, but “passersby used fire extinguishers and a tire tool to get Monika and Divija out of the burning sedan,” The News Reporter said.

“Mukesh Deshmukh worked as software professional in Raleigh...and hailed from small village Bhalki in Nanded district of Maharashtra, India,” according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to support “immediate needs” of the family. “Mukesh was thorough gentleman with calm and quiet nature. He lived simple live and could go to any extent to help his friends, family and the needy.”

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Photo of the Desmukh family, as featured on the GoFundMe page sent up to raise money for “immediate needs.” GoFundMe page screenshot

The campaign has raised nearly $80,000 as of Friday afternoon.

Investigators told WECT the crash outside of Chadbourn occurred about 1:30 p.m. Thursday when Monika Deshmukh “failed to stop” at the intersection of US 74 and NC 410, and hit a tractor-trailer carrying fuel. Chadbourn is in Columbus County, about 120 miles south of Raleigh.

N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. M. K. Young said the family was driving from their home in Cary to the coast to celebrate the toddler’s third birthday, the station said.

The tanker driver, who was not identified, “was treated and released from Columbus Regional” hospital, according to The News Reporter.

Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

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