Harness racing trainer dies from COVID-19

Horse Racing

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A fourth member of a New Jersey family died Thursday from COVID-19.

Vincent Fusco died Thursday morning at a hospital in Freehold, NJ.com reported. His death was confirmed by Roseann Paradiso Fodera, an attorney and relative. Fusco’s mother, Grace Fusco, died Wednesday night, hours after another son, Carmine Fusco, died in Pennsylvania.

A trainer of horses that competed at harness racing tracks, Carmine Fusco won 2,531 career races and won four in 48 starts this season. He most recently trained horses that competed at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania and New York’s Yonkers Raceway.

A sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, died last Friday. In her final hours, Grace Fusco wasn’t aware her two children had died, Paradiso Fodera, told the newspaper.

Carmine Fusco died Wednesday at a hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he lived. A sister confirmed his death, which was the first in Pennsylvania caused by the virus, to the Morning Call of Allentown.

Carmine Fusco and Rita Fusco-Jackson, who were both in their 50s, were “the most wonderful brother and sister that anybody can have,” their sister, Andriana Fusco, told the newspaper. “They were good people. I don’t know why this is happening. They didn’t deserve this, they’re too young.”

Andriana Fusco told The Morning Call that she disputed reports that the virus may have been spread through a family gathering attended by a person who’d had contact with 69-year-old John Brennan, a former harness racing trainer who worked for years at Yonkers.

Brennan lived in northern New Jersey and was the first person in the state to die because of the virus, on March 10.

Andriana Fusco told the newspaper her brother Carmine hadn’t been in New Jersey in the past two weeks and that she hadn’t seen him since last month. She also said other members of her family had been sickened by the virus.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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