The family of a high school student killed during gas explosions in Massachusetts last year has reached a settlement with the utility involved, according to their lawyer.
A family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts after their teenage son died Sept. 13 when a chimney from an exploding house crashed onto his car and crushed him. Financial details were not disclosed.
Their son, identified as Lionel Rondon of Lawrence, Massachusetts was only 18 years old and had received his driving license just hours before the incident that ended his life.
Columbia Gas responded compassionately to Rondon’s family. In addition to the settlement, they established a scholarship fund in Rondon’s name.
The law firm that represented Rondon’s family also plans to establish a scholarship fund in honor of the teen, according to the family’s attorney.
The explosion that caused this disaster was one of many across Merrimack Valley. The explosions and ensuing fires affected the communities of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover and injured about 25 other people while damaging or destroying more than 100 homes.
The disaster left thousands of homes and businesses in the region without natural gas service for weeks or months.
According to investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, the explosions happened due to overly pressurized gas lines in the area.
On the same day the settlement for the wrongful death lawsuit was announced, officials and business leaders held an unrelated news conference to announce a marketing campaign that will help small businesses affected by the fires get back on their feet nearly ten months later.
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