Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tragic Mishap Shakes Family

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tragic Mishap Shakes Family

Article excerpt

A tightly knit neighborhood in Lodi was struggling Friday to make sense of the tragic death of one of its youngest, after 6-year-old Laz Ayon was crushed under the weight of a toppled 10-foot metal pole Thursday evening.

Ayon's 10-year-old brother Ivan suffered a broken leg and had surgery on Friday, a family member said.

"You just feel so bad for the family," Anthony Zappia said, slowly shaking his head in disbelief. "It's just one of those things that happens ... kids being kids. Ultimately, this will probably pull the neighborhood even closer together."

The rusty metal pole -- attached to a clothesline -- fell on Laz as he and Ivan were cleaning up the back yard of their home, the boys' grandfather said on Friday.

"He was everything," Jamie Alonso said of his grandson Laz. "He was full of life, a treasure."

The accident occurred at the Walnut Street home as the boys were getting ready to head to soccer registration with their mother, Karen Ayon, about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier, the boys had thrown a scooter on the clothesline, Alonso said. When they were cleaning up, they weren't pulling on it, the grandfather insisted, but the heavy pole collapsed on top of both Laz and Ivan.

"All of a sudden, we heard a horrendous noise, and two seconds later, screaming," said next-door neighbor Donna Destefano, whose parents own the home where the boys live.

Destefano said her husband ran out and lifted the pole off Laz, who had fallen face-first onto a concrete walkway.

The boy's mother, Karen Ayon, cradled him in her arms after the accident, Destefano said.

"The mother kept screaming, 'Please help my son. Get him the ambulance,' " she said. "It was devastating to see a mother cradling her child like that."

There were no eyewitnesses to the accident.

About 30 people from the neighborhood were at the family's side within seconds of the accident. …

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