By Amy Lieu, ,
Published September 15, 2018
Family and friends are mourning the 18-year-old man who died in the gas explosions in suburban Boston on Thursday afternoon.
Leonel Rondon of Lawrence, Mass., was with two friends inside a car, celebrating after passing a driving test, a family friend told the Boston Globe. Then, a large brick chimney fell onto the roof of the car -- on the driver's side, the report said.
Rondon was severely injured. His friends "desperately" tried to pull him out of the car, but his body was too "entwined" with the bricks and metal, the Globe reported.
Eventually Rondon was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
“The family is broken apart. ... This family just needs to mourn their son.’’
“The family is broken apart,” Luis Medina, a longtime friend, told the paper. “This family just needs to mourn their son.’’
Rondon's two friends remained hospitalized, FOX affiliate Boston 25 reported.
Moments before the incident, Rondon was excited about a new car his mother promised him and a prospective new job, the Globe reported.
“He had a job interview on Sunday,” Altabeira Ventura told the paper about her cousin. “And his mom was going to buy him a car. He was a really good kid, really humble.”
Ventura, 39, also called Rondon a “good boy” with a bright future, the report said.
Rondon was a student at Phoenix Charter Academy, Boston.com reported, citing a statement from the school. He was reportedly set to graduate this year.
"Staff and students knew him as an outgoing, light-hearted, hands-on learner who particularly loved science and excelled in biology and math," the school's statement said
The school said that "he will be greatly missed both in school and at home, and his family, friends and loved ones."
"Woke up early thinking about Leo, still can't believe it," Shantel Polanco Baez wrote on Facebook. "Went to sleep in tears now in waking up in tears."
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Massachusetts to investigate the gas explosions that also injured at least 25 people and caused fires in dozens of homes, reports said.