Nelson Gomez Elizabeth: Nelson Miranda Gomez Killed In Elizabeth Tow Truck Accident While Riding Lime Scooter Near South Spring Street from Elizabeth Avenue
ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY (November 21, 2019) – A 16-year-old boy identified as Nelson Miranda Gomez has tragically died in a tow truck accident while riding a Lime scooter by South Spring Street from Elizabeth Avenue.
Elizabeth police officials are saying that the accident took place around 8:00 p.m. Nelson Miranda Gomez was riding alongside a tow truck and was hit by the tow truck as the driver began turning right.
Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help Nelson Miranda Gomez. Despite life-saving efforts the victim later died due to his injuries.
There has been an outpouring of grief at a vigil following the Lime scooter accident. Henry Buso told reporters, “He was a good kid…We were really close. He was like a brother to me.”
A number of residents have express anger following the accident. This comes one week after Lime officially started operating in Elizabeth. Now residents are calling for Elizabeth to end its partnership with Lime.
Other residents are concerned that the intersection is needlessly dangerous. An investigation into the scooter accident that killed Nelson Miranda Gomez remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Elizabeth Scooter Accidents
The popularity of companies like Lime and Bird has come with a sharp increase in the use of electric scooters throughout the United States. But this has also come with a steep rise in the number of emergency room visits for people injured while riding scooters. According to one investigation by Consumer Reports, “there have been at least 1,545 accidents in the US involving electric scooters over the past year.” One hospital in Salt Lake City has reported a 161 percent increase in the number of hospital visits involving electric scooters after Lime and Bird entered their city.
There are a number of laws designed to protect victims of scooter accidents. Tow trucks are considered “common carriers” under the law and are held to a very high standard in terms of safety. According to Squaw Valley Ski Corporation v. Superior Court, “The elevated standard of care for common carriers is “based on a recognition that the privilege of serving the public as a common carrier necessarily entails great responsibility, requiring common carriers to exercise a high duty of care towards their customers.” Tow truck drivers are supposed to be especially cautious before making turns at intersections.
Tow trucks have blind spots and if a driver is not vigilant he or she could easily hit a pedestrian. According to New Jersey Vehicle Code 39:4-36. (a), “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise regulated by municipal, county, or State regulation.” There are a number of reasons why pedestrian accidents occur:
- Driver distraction
- Driver fatigue
- Driver intoxication
- Prescription drug use
If a tow truck driver is negligent and hits a pedestrian the company that they work for could face civil liability. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior companies are generally liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. It’s important that evidence is properly preserved and collected after an accident. Eye witness testimony should be gathered along with any surveillance footage at the intersection.
The family of any victim that died in an electric scooter accident may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of love and potentially punitive damages. Claimants in a civil dispute may include the victim’s parents and siblings. Unfortunately, tow truck companies will often fight incredibly hard to deny any liability for a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating An Elizabeth Tow Truck Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nelson Miranda Gomez. Any person that may have seen this accident should reach out to the Elizabeth Police Department at (908) 558-2000. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of the victim’s family. As personal injury attorneys and consumer safety advocates it is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to prevent similar tragedies. Cities like Elizabeth need to make sure that they take adequate measures to protect pedestrians if they are going to allow companies like Lime and Bird to operate in their sector.