Birthdays, especially for kids, are supposed to special days; days of happiness, a present or two, and carefree thoughts. They are cause for celebration, not mourning. Tragically, all that became reversed yesterday, when a 12 year-old Brockton boy by the name of Nazair Nunes-Escobar was killed when a tractor-trailer truck hit and killed him. Making matters worse, was the fact that the boy was killed while using the roller-blade skates that he had received just moments before, as a birthday present.
Young Nunes-Escobar was about to begin the seventh grade at the Oscar F. Raymond Elementary School in Brockton in September. “He was a very nice kid,’‘ said Jocelyn Meek, a spokesperson for the Brockton public school system; “He had a very nice smile and a great sense of humor. They are very sad at the Raymond (school) today.” Neighbors and friends placed candles and flowers at the accident site, creating a makeshift memorial at 35 Brattle Street in Brockton. Several persons familiar with the boy described him as a cheerful presence at the Roosevelt Heights apartment complex where he lived. One neighbor said young Nunes-Escobar, so active at just 12 years old, would have one day become a great athlete.
The Brockton Police Department and Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz’s office are investigating the accident, but at this point in time no criminal charges have been filed. However, Cruz’s office said that the driver of the tractor trailer, identified by Massachusetts State Police as a 33-year-old Hanover man, has not presently been charged with any crime or cited for any violations. The tractor-trailer unit is reportedly registered to M.J. Cimildoro Trucking in Hanover. However, the company that owns the trailer that was being hauled, Spiegel South Shore Scrap Metal of Brockton, was cited by State Police Friday for excessive air loss rate from the truck’s brake system, and a cracked lift hinge assembly frame, according to a Massachusetts State Police spokesman. State Police also reportedly notified Spiegel and the driver of other violations, including three inoperable lamps on the trailer and an inoperative horn. It’s also unclear whether those citations were a factor in the accident.
These issues are important legally, because they will help determine whether or not a successful liability claim can be brought concerning this young boy’s death. Thinking about a lawsuit at this point in time may seem heartless to think about following this boy’s tragic death, but the reality is that if key evidence relating to the accident is not preserved, and if important legal steps are not taken promptly to maximize the chances of a successful liability claim against the owners/and or operators of the truck and the tractor-trailer, then the prospects of recovering perhaps substantial damages for this boy’s family may be compromised or lost entirely. Liability insurance, which the owners of the truck and the trailer must by law carry, exists to provide for compensation following tragedies such as this.
Most people might ask: What kind of damages could be recoverable in a case like this, where a 12 year-old child is killed in a Massachusetts truck-pedestrian accident? First, any case would need to be brought by the boy’s next of kin, or legal guardian. This person is known legally as the “Personal Representative” of the victim’s estate. How can a 12 year-old child leave an “estate”? The word “estate”, legally, does not mean what many people think it means: Lots of money and wealthy real estate. Loosely translated, it simply means “whatever the person owned” – and this could be as little as $10.00.
Damages recoverable in such a case could include pain and suffering that the victim suffered prior to death, loss of society and companionship for the boy’s parents and/or family, as well as other possible damages too lengthy to adequately discuss here. As a Boston Massachusetts motor vehicle-pedestrian accident attorney, I’ve seen many of these types of cases: They can be complex, and a very experienced Massachusetts truck accident law firm is needed in these cases, because the damages in them tend to be very high. Car-pedestrian accidents are dangerous enough, but when Massachusetts truck-pedestrian accidents come into our office, it’s not uncommon that fatalities will be involved. The reasons for this: Trucks cannot stop as fast as cars; they are more unstable, the driver’s field of vision is not as wide and blind spots are worse; and, of course, they weigh far, far more than a typical sedan or similar motor vehicle.
Parents and care givers of children should never allow their kids to “just go rollerblading” or playing in the streets, unsupervised. As you can see, the results can be horrific.
My sympathies and condolences to young Mr. Nunes-Escobar’s family.