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Man Killed While Jump-Starting Friend's Van

By  Alan Neuhauser and Wil Cruz | June 5, 2012 7:52am | Updated on June 5, 2012 6:20pm

QUEENS — Routine car maintenance turned tragic Monday evening when a Brooklyn man was killed in a Rockaway Park parking lot while helping jump-start his friend's van, the NYPD said.

Martin Romero, 43, became pinned beneath the Ford E250 van at 107-10 Shore Front Pkwy. when the driver pushed the gas pedal after the car had been jump-started, police said.

Emergency responders, arriving shortly after 5:20 p.m., found Romero unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to St. John's Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.

"Everybody is so sad because he's part of the family here," said Marisol Hernandez, 30, a former neighbor. "He was a friend to all the families in the neighborhood."

There was no apparent criminality, police stated.

An avid soccer player, Romero, who emigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico, played fútbol with friends the night before the accident.

"He liked to play soccer," said Rafael Vazquez, 41, who lived nearby. "He was always happy and joyous."

Argelia Cordero, 36, said the hard-working construction worker died the way he lived — helping people.

"He didn't have problems with anybody," Cordero said. "He was respectful to women and played with the children."

Alissa Ambrose and Jesse Lent contributed to this article.