Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) – Family members and friends of the National Grid worker who was killed in last week’s deadly crash in Waltham gathered for his fun wake and funeral on Saturday. 

Roderick Jackson, 36, was killed last Wednesday along with Waltham Police Officer Paul Tracey when a man in a pickup truck allegedly struck them at a worksite on Totten Pond Road. Tracey was laid to rest on Friday after his funeral in Waltham.

Jackson’s funeral services are being held at St. Paul AME church in Cambridge.

“Oh my God,” said Jackson’s mother, Norma Asprilla, on Friday. “I’m burying my baby. Horrific.”

“He supported all of us to the fullest,” said Jackson’s brother, Manuel Asprilla-Hassan. “He didn’t just mean everything to us, he was everything to us and we lost it all.”

Known as “Kito” to his siblings and mother, Jackson’s family said he had been working for National Grid for three years when he was killed. 

“After tomorrow, I will never get to see him again,” said Norma Asprilla. “It’s painful for all of us.”

Jackson’s family said he loved to dance, loved Christmas and loved football. 

Manuel Asprilla-Hassan, who played cornerback at BC and was later signed by the Chargers, said Jackson went to every game. 

“He wore my jersey, everything,” he said. “I could see him in the stands every game.” 

“I knew exactly where my family sat in the stands every game and he stood out,” Asprilla-Hassan continued.

Standing at 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Jackson also stood tall in his family, helping his single mother raise his younger siblings. 

“He put a smile on everybody’s face,” said his sister, Esmeralda Asprilla. “There’s not one person that could say anything bad about him.”

Authorities identified the alleged driver in the Totten Pond Road crash as Peter Simon, 54, of New Hampshire. 

Simon has already been arraigned on multiple charges including manslaughter. With Jackson’s family also planning to file a lawsuit, their lawyer said they don’t know where the investigation might lead. 

“The family wants answers about why he was able to be out in the community and how something like this ever could have been allowed to happen,” said family attorney Thomas Flaws.

In addition to their lawsuit, Jackson’s family is planning to set up a scholarship to help students in need. 

While they mourn, Norma Asprilla on Friday also expressed her condolences to the family of Paul Tracey.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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