WALLINGFORD — The family of Timothy Cain, a local man who died after being struck by a vehicle while riding in his motorized wheelchair, is remembering him for his sense of humor and love for his two sons.
“He was a happy-go-lucky-type of guy and he was always reaching out to say ‘Hi’ to the family,” said his sister Pamela Cremo.
Born in New Haven in 1960, Cain, who was 62, moved to Wallingford with his family in middle school and remained a Wallingford resident since.
“As a kid he loved to crab and fish in Branford with the family,” Cremo said.
He worked at Times Fiber Communications (now Amphenol) for a few decades before becoming a lumber truck driver. Cremo said he had a knack for working with engines and once restored a 1965 Oldsmobile Starfire. He retired early after developing health issues, which led to him using a wheelchair to get around.
He is survived by his mother, Janet Cain-Sittnick, two brothers William and Michael Cain, Cremo, and his two sons Austin and Timothy Cain.
His sons described him as someone who was always making people smile.
“He was a loving father and he made sure he said ‘hello’ to everybody he saw,” Austin Cain said.
Once he began using the wheelchair, Austin Cain said he would ride it across town to get out of the house and do errands.
“He would always take the wheelchair out and get some sun, it's better than being cooped up inside,” he said.
According to Wallingford police, a Toyota Sienna minivan collided with Cain while he was traveling on South Main Street at approximately 4:26 p.m. Sunday. Cain was traveling on Cedar Street and was attempting to cross South Main Street when he was struck by the vehicle in the southbound travel lane of South Main. He was transported to Yale Hospital with serious injuries and was pronounced dead.
The operator of the Sienna and a passenger were not injured in the crash, which is still under investigation. Any witnesses are asked to contact Officer Christian Evans at 203-294-2819.
Evans said Wednesday that he could not could discuss the specifics of the investigation, however, he has received calls from residents saying that they’ve seen Cain riding in his wheelchair.
“I have received numerous calls from the citizens of Wallingford as to how they have seen Tim all over the south side streets of Wallingford riding his motorized wheelchair,” he said in an email.
His family said Cain felt many of the sidewalks in town were too bumpy to navigate with his wheelchair and he preferred to ride on the side of the road, despite their feeling that it was unsafe.
“I don't know how many times we told him he shouldn't be riding in the road,” Cremo said. “ … I think they were bumpy, it was easier to just stay on the street.”
Officials with the town Public Works and Engineering departments were not available for interview on Wednesday.
Cain’s neighbors on Louis Court also said they worried about Cain riding his wheelchair in the street.
“My opinion is that we were concerned about his safety,” a Louis Court resident said.
Austin Cain said he hopes that the crash was a simple accident, but wants it investigated fully.
“…I just don't know how you couldn't see him in the road,” he said.
Reporter Devin Leith-Yessian can be reached at email@example.com.