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Allentown wrongful deaths recalled 1 year later

Just about one year ago, a tragic gas explosion claimed the lives of five Lehigh Valley neighbors in Allentown. In all, eight row houses were decimated, and five people lost their lives, causing the fabric of the neighborhood to be changed forever. Among the victims were a 79-year-old man and his 74-year-old wife. In the house next door, a man lost his 69-year-old mother, his 16-year-old daughter as well as his 4-month-old grandson. By any sense of the words, each of the five victims suffered a truly wrongful death.

The explosion occurred somewhere around 10:45 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2011. The 50-year-old son of the elderly couple first learned about the tragedy when a friend telephoned to say he should get to the scene. He saw from television news reports that there was little likelihood of survival. At the scene, he could only watch as rescuers searched for survivors. His father's burned body was found about six hours after the incident, his mother's 12 hours later.

The man not only lost his parents and neighbors but also his childhood home. All that is left now is the lot on which the house stood. Though the precise details of the fateful explosion were not explained in the news article, it was noted that the man recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit against UGI Utilities in connection with the blast.

In Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania, such lawsuits can be brought when a death occurs as the result of the negligence of another party. While no amount of money can begin to cover the losses suffered, it may help provide some sense of justice for those who have lost a loved one.

Source: The Morning Call, "Mark Hall misses his parents, lost on 'a night of confusion,'" Frank Warner, Feb. 8, 2012

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