Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Interstate_495_Massachusetts_shieldTragedy struck earlier this week, when a Massachusetts’ woman drove the wrong way on Interstate 495 in Middleborough, killing four college students. The four students who were killed were later identified by Massachusetts’ state police as Kraig A. Diggs, 20, Jordan J. Galvin-Jutras, 19, Jordan J. Fisher, 19, and Cory P. Licata, 18. The female driver, Valantein V. Burson, 31, was also killed in the accident.

On Monday, October 24, 2016, at approximately 12: 11 A.M., Burson, a Stoughton native who counseled troubled teens, was driving her 2011 Infiniti G7, south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 495. She then slammed into a 2003 Mercury sable sedan carrying the four students who were on their way back their Worcester-area colleges. As a result of the impact between the two vehicles, the teen’s vehicle burst into flames.  All four students were pronounced dead at the scene. Continue reading

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In July of 2016, Kyzr Willis, a 7-year-old boy who was participating in a city-sponsored drop day camp, went missing at Carson Beach in South Boston, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, a few hours after he was discovered missing, his body was found in the water. The Boston Police Department (“BPD”) is investigating Kyzr Willis’s death, but has not provided Willis’s family with his autopsy report or returned his personal effects.

Kyzr was one of 56 children who was dropped off on July 26, 2016 at the South Boston’s Center’s for Youth and Families at the Curley Center. The camp ran between 10 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday. It was supervised by 25 teenage counselors, two supervisors, and the director of the Curley Center. Carson Beach also had eight lifeguards, two of which were assigned to the section of the beach that was partitioned off specifically for the use of the camp’s children. Unfortunately, neither the camp supervisor nor the two life guards at the beach noticed when Kyzr Willis wandered away from the group.

After Kyzr Willis went missing, the camp called the Boston Police Department, but according to Kyzr Willis’s mother, did not inform her of her son’s disappearance. Instead, her nine-year old niece called her to inform her that Kyzr Willis was missing. A BPD officer reported that the camp counselors were completely unaware of where Kyzr Willis was. As such, BPD  initially focused on a land search, believing that he had wandered off to his home in Dorchester.

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TrainThursday morning, during the rush hour peak, a New Jersey commuter train plowed full speed into the Hoboken terminal, injuring 114 people. Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken, was killed by falling debris while waiting on the platform for the train’s arrival. She was the only fatality.

Witnesses said the train hurtled through the designated stopping point, slammed into a bumper block, went airborne and drove through a passenger concourse at approximately 8:45 a.m.

Bhagyesh Shah, who was riding in the back of the front car on his way to work, said the train didn’t seem to slow as it entered the station. He further stated, “[t]he next thing I know, I’m on the floor. We are plowing through something … and when the train came to a stop, I could see the parts of the roof on the first car and some of the debris next to me.”

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It is back-to-school time in Massachusetts! Whether students are going to public or private school, kindergarten or twelfth grade, it is time for parents to rush to the store, buy school supplies, and brush up on their math. It is also time for parents to send their kids off to school on school buses, which means brushing up on school bus safety.

School buses are the safest mode of stop-arm-camera00000000transportation for students, not only because of their size but also because of how seats are constructed. Like many states, Massachusetts does not require school buses to have seat belts for children. While many parents are concerned about their children riding school buses without seatbelts and many communities can require school buses to have seatbelts, studies have shown that buses with padded seats that are higher in the back and have short front to back seat spacing are safer for young students. Bus drivers are required to wear seatbelts while driving. Continue reading

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Boston has launched a review of protocols at all its summer camps after a young boy was found drowned at a beach after disappearing from a South Boston day camp.

On Tuesday, July 26, 2015, at approximately 7:09 p.m., 7-year-old Kyzr Willis was recovered by police in the water behind the L Street Bathhouse at the Curley Community Center after he wandered away unnoticed from camp.

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“My heart goes out to the family,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans told reports at the scene.  “This is a tragedy.”

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Last week, 2-year old Lane Graves of Nebraska lost his life in a deadly alligator attack at Disney. Reports state that an alligator snatched the boy from the shores of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa where he and his family were vacationing.

While at the Disney Resort, the young boy had been wading close to the shore the lagoon.  The boy’s father desperately attempted to free his child from the alligator while his mother tried to get help from the lifeguard. Tragically, the alligator was too strong and fast for any rescue efforts. The next morning officials reported that they had recovered the body of the boy.  The official cause of death is drowning.

Following the tragic death, Disney released a public statement stating that the company “will thoroughly review the situation for the future.”

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Earlier this month, fifty-year-old Charles Pickett of Battle Creek, Michigan crashed his car into nine bicyclists and then fled the scene.  He is now facing five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily harm.

Just minutes prior to the collision, police in the area had received several concerned calls prompting them to search for an erratically driving truck.  According to one eyewitness, he had just narrowly missed being hit by the truck as he was leaving a local park. He further stated that he didn’t have time to warn the bicyclists before the truck collided into the group – ranging in age from 40 to 74.file000619457980-1

The bicyclists were part of a group who referred to themselves as the “Chain Gang” and regularly took long rides together. They were just 5-miles into their typical 30 mile ride when Pickett struck the bike-enthusiasts. According to the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department, after the truck made impact, Pickett bailed from his truck and fled the scene on foot. Police were able to swiftly find and arrest him.

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AmbulanceWoodbriar Health Center, a nursing home and rehabilitation facility in Wilmington, MA has incurred fines of $278,900 for substandard care. According to a letter made public earlier this month, this fine may increase to the tune for $10,000 a day until the facility rectifies the most significant problem areas. Sanctions are determined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services primarily based on recommendations by state inspection agencies. The total amount of sanctions are determined based on the severity of the infraction.

Since December of last year, Woodbriar Health Center has come under fire primarily due to the deaths of two residents. On Christmas Day, a resident, Mary Meuse was dropped from a mechanical lift and sustained two broken legs. Nursing staff failed to inform either the resident or her family about the breakage for at least the first 24 hours. She died two days later on December 27th.

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