New Milford High graduate identified as Brookfield crash victim
BROOKFIELD — The community is raising money for the family of the Waterbury man killed in a crash over the weekend.
Nelson E. Zuniga, 27, was identified Tuesday by police as the victim in Saturday night’s crash in Brookfield. He was the only person in the car.
He was remembered as positive and helpful in posts on a GoFundMe page collecting donations for funeral expenses for Zuniga, who friends said graduated from New Milford High School.
More than $4,500 has been collected so far.
“We lost a wonderful young man in Nelson Zuniga,” the GoFundMe page states. “He was the kind of young man who would do anything for anyone. An amazing son, brother and friend. You couldn't ask for better.”
Zuniga was heading northbound around 10:45 p.m. Saturday when his car veered off Candlewood Lake Road near the Candlewood Birches intersection, hitting a utility pole and then a parked car, police said.
Firefighters extracted Zuniga from the heavily damaged vehicle within 20 minutes. He was then brought to Danbury Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The police department’s accident investigation team is still looking into the crash and waiting on a report from the medical examiner’s office, Brookfield police Capt. Peter Frengs said.
Zuniga died from blunt impact to his head and torso, the medical examiner’s office said. The results of a toxicology report, which is always conducted, will not be available for six to eight weeks, the medical examiner said.
The crash closed Candlewood Lake Road between Elbow Hill Road and Main Drive as the utility pole was repaired. Emergency personnel stayed at the scene until about 2 a.m.
Fred Anderson said he worked with Zuniga at ShowMotion, a contracting company in Milford. It was not clear when Zuniga had worked there. The company did not immediately return a request for comment.
“He was a great guy,” Anderson said on the GoFundMe page. “So positive & always willing to help any way he could.”
A donor to the GoFundMe said “not enough kind words” could be said about Zuniga.
“(You) always lit up the room with your positive energy and bright smile,” Bill Leonard wrote. “Your heart was larger than life and you will never be forgotten.”