EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 22, 2014

Pedestrian hit by truck fighting for his life

Police said motorist had .17 blood alcohol level

LAWRENCE — Jose Diaz, 24, of Lawrence, was fighting for his life in Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital yesterday as Nathan Sanborn Jr., 21, of Kensington, N.H. was arraigned in Lawrence District Court on charges he struck Diaz with his Ford F-150 pickup while driving drunk Saturday night.

Diaz, who was walking at Haverhill and Warren streets, was thrown 20 feet in the air and launched 100 feet after Sanborn “plowed” into him at 9:23 p.m., according to police and court reports.

Diaz was in “extremely critical condition” yesterday with head injuries, including brain swelling, prosecutor Lindsay Nasson said.

Eliel Diaz said he witnessed his cousin being “‘hit and launched” Saturday night. He immediately rushed to help Jose, who asked him “if he was going to die,” Eliel Diaz said.

After Sanborn was brought into the courtroom yesterday afternoon, Diaz’s family members, including his mother, siblings and cousins, sobbed loudly. Nasson asked for bail to be set at $25,000 but when Judge Kevin Gaffney set it at $15,000, Diaz’s family members started yelling as they left the courtroom.

“My brother is fighting for his life,” one man said.

“We need justice. He’s dying,” another woman said, as court officers followed the family out of the courtroom.

Family members brought to court a photo of Diaz on life support at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

Saturday night, police were sent to the vicinity of 514 Haverhill St. after getting calls about a pedestrian hit by a truck. Police officer Wayne Taylor, who was working a detail in the area, was the first to provide first aid to Diaz.

Then, as paramedics treated Diaz, officers spoke with Sanborn, of 281 South Road, Kensington, N.H., who was sitting at the wheel of his black 2013 Ford F-150.

Officers said they smelled both alcohol and urine on Sanborn. He told police he’d been drinking at Hans Garden in Haverhill and had two beers. A breath test showed his blood alcohol level was .17, twice the legal limit, according to court papers.

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