We hear about fatal accidents and tragedies on the news all the time and then soon forget them. But for the families of the accident victims, their lives have been changed forever. The tragedy is not over. They often have to struggle in court for justification, compensation or closure.

The O’Donnell Park tragedy in Milwaukee that occurred two years ago in 2010 is one of those tragedies, soon forgotten by the public, but not by the family of one teenage boy. The family was going for a nice outing at the O’Donnell Park Summerfest. The father parked the car in the parking garage and as he was walking away from the car with his family following, he turned around in time to see a large 13-ton concrete panel fall hitting his wife, son and his son’s friend.

The son’s friend fortunately only suffered a leg injury, however, his wife and son were seriously injured. In a civil trial case, the father describes how he was running back and forth between his son and his wife. They were at opposite ends of the concrete slab. His son was killed from the crushing blow of the concrete slab. His wife was struck on the lower portion of her leg, which later had to be amputated.

In the civil trial, the man describes his agony, saying he “lost it.” He claims that he has nightmares and suffers from guilt feelings. He also suffers fear when driving on concrete structures worrying that they might collapse.

Advance Concrete Stone, who manufactured the concrete panels, is accused of using a shortcut when hanging the concrete panel that fell, as well as other panels. Their attorney claims that a “lack of maintenance” by the county and possibly cars bumping into the panel may be the cause of the panel falling.

Whatever caused the concrete panel to fall, this family has been totally devastated by the wrongful death of the son, the injury to the mother and the mental agony of the father. The responsible party should be held accountable to compensate them for their loss and suffering.

jsonline.com, “O’Donnell Park garage accident haunts father” Steve Schultze, Oct. 16, 2013