“I didn’t know him, but it’s very sad,” said Paul Stilphen of Suffield.
Stilphen walked toward the flags and flowers that mark the spot along the Connecticut-Massachusetts border where two men lost their lives Thursday. The outpouring of sympathy comes a day after one of Enfield’s longtime letter carriers, 59-year-old Dan Nacin, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 5.
“He was a very fine person. I worked with him for 15 years he was very pleasant,” remembered Stanley Gladysz.
He said Nacin was also a steward for the letter carrier’s union.
“He looked out for his fellow employees,” said Gladysz. “His name came up and flashback memories and times at work with him.”
Gladysz visited his old post office Friday, but says some of his former co-workers stayed home to grieve.
“You know, there’s a lot of sadness,” Gladysz pointed out. “I think it hits home, you know. It affects a lot of people.”
“For the family, I can only imagine how devastating how that’s going to be for them as well,” said Enfield resident Margie Burnes.
“I’m gonna miss a real good friend,” said McDonald.
McDonald feared the worst when he heard an Enfield mailman was killed in the crash, Thursday.
“When I see today that a different mailman came, that’s when I got kind of choked up,” he said.
McDonald said Nacin became much more than just a mail carrier when he got him out of a jam a few years back.
“He came along as I was locked out of my house and he helped me get into the house. He went up the ladder and went in for me he always said it was the first house he ever broke into. We had a little joke about that all the time,” said Nacin.
A light-hearted memory of a man he came to count on for more than just his mail.
“He’s a wonderful man and I understand he had a wonderful family. He’s going to rest well in Heaven I believe,” added McDonald.
Nacin, who worked for the United States Postal Service for 40 years, was a jumper and filled in on different routes. The route he was on Thursday was not his normal route, according to a fellow letter carrier. He told us Nacin had just made his last delivery when the tragedy struck.
“Horrible. Absolutely horrible. Terrible, tragic thing,” said Paul Fay, another Enfield resident.
Investigators spent seven hours at the Connecticut-Massachusetts state line Thursday trying to reconstruct the accident. They suspected the driver who hit Nacin, 47-year-old David Cersosimo, of Rocky Hill, was intoxicated.
“Very senseless,” Fay added.
Enfield’s police chief said two of his officers tried twice to pull Cersosimo over, after he hit a vehicle a mile up the road, but they said he refused to stop. That’s when a pursuit gave way. Witnesses describe seeing Cersosimo and police going at a high rate of speed. They said when Cersosimo’s pickup collided with Nacin’s mail truck it dragged it several hundred feet and burst into flames.
“I think it probably could have been prevented if they just had enough people contact on the other end, they would have caught him. Chasing someone like that is not good for anybody,” said Lester McDonald, who lives on Nacin’s route.
The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office is investigating because the two vehicles came to rest across the state line. The State’s Attorney’s Office in Hartford is also involved in the investigation.
Enfield Police Chief Alaric Fox said officers weigh the risks before launching a police pursuit adding the “preliminary indication is that the behavior of the officers was in compliance with the state law.”