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Smithtown settles suit over 2011 skateboarding death

A trail sign for Kings Park Hike and

A trail sign for Kings Park Hike and Bike Trail stands on Friday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Smithtown will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the estate of a man killed in a 2011 skateboarding accident on the Kings Park Hike and Bike Trail. 

Lawyers for the estate of Vincent E. Castrillon, 19, said in documents filed with a 2012 suit in New York State Supreme Court that Castrillon fell “violently” from his longboard after hitting a crack on the trail. 

Castrillon died of blunt force head injury July 6, 2011, at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, according to his death certificate. 

Lawyers said the town was negligent for not properly maintaining a trail they described as bumpy and broken, with “trap like” conditions, including the 16-inch crack that caused Castrillon’s fall. 

Smithtown's Town Council approved the settlement in a 5-0 vote Feb. 4.

Also named as defendants were Suffolk County and Amityville-based LandTek group. The action against Suffolk was discontinued in 2018, according to court documents. LandTek designed the trail, according to the suit. A company representative did not respond to a request for comment. 

Lawyers for Smithtown and Castrillon's estate declined to comment. Castrillon’s parents, identified as Charlotte and Nelson Castrillon on his death certificate, did not comment. 

The 1.5-mile hike and bike trail is one of about six trails in the town. Town officials said it was repaired after Castrillon’s fall. 

Castrillon was a resident of New Iberia, Louisiana, at the time of his death, but attended Suffolk County Community College, according to records. Kings Park School District offers a scholarship in his honor, and a Facebook post by his mother on his Jan. 25 birthday this year suggested that his local roots were strong. 

“Happy birthday son,” she wrote. “I asked Jesus to give you a hug for us. We will celebrate you today with a slice of pizza and ice cream. I miss our drives for ice cream in Kings Park.”

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