EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 13, 2014

Stroller dragged 100 feet under truck

'I thought the baby was done,' witness said

LAWRENCE — Since Tuesday, Anna Rivera has been giving extra hugs and kisses to her 4-month-old daughter, Ivianah Figueroa — rejoicing in the miracle that she’s still alive.

Around 10 a.m. that day, the city resident was pushing Ivianah in a stroller on Merrimack Street, toward the intersection of South Union Street near the New Balance factory. Because the sidewalks hadn’t been cleared of snow, she was walking on the street.

As she was walking, Ivianah’s stroller got caught on the stepladder of a white box truck as it turned onto South Union Street. The truck dragged the stroller under it for about 100 feet toward the green Duck Bridge, until another driver forced the truck to stop.

“Every time I close my eyes, I see the stroller being dragged by the truck. It’s so surreal,” Rivera said. “My worse fear was that he would keep going. I didn’t know if he knew what was going on or if he had seen the stroller.”

While drivers honked their horns at the truck and passersby waved and screamed at the driver to get his attention, Rivera ran to the truck and started pounding her fist on the back to get it to stop.

Tim Melvin was driving behind the truck. Once he saw it was dragging the stroller, he drove around the truck and pulled in front of it.

“He (the truck driver) had no clue what was going on. He thought I was being a jerk,” said Melvin, who was out doing errands. “When I drove around the truck to stop it, I hesitated because I didn’t want him to drive forward. I just wanted him to stop before the baby fell off.”

Police said the truck is registered to CPINC of Chelsea. It was driven by Gilberto Lizardo of Chelsea, police said.

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