Nicholas Soto
14 years old

Nicholas Soto was born prematurely in Bellevue Hospital on November 7th, 1999. His parents, Eddie and Debbie, said, in a way, their son kept to the same schedule after that: he was a perfectionist who hated to be late.

He started school early, too, with an early intervention program for premature babies. “He picked things up straight away,” his father said. “Algebra, things I wouldn’t be good at, he got in seconds.” Although naturally smart, Debbie Soto said Nicholas was often hard on himself. “He just wanted to get it right,” she said.

Nicholas loved basketball, and he was a wrestling fanatic. Rey Mysterio was his favorite wrestler. “When we would bring him to a sport event he would become part of the show,” Eddie Soto said. “You couldn’t hold him down on his seat.”

Eddie recalled that his son even helped him get sober last year, after Eddie had struggled with alcoholism for years. “When he would see me struggling he would sit down and talk to me,” Eddie said.” He would say ‘I know I’m young but you can tell me whatever.’ He was an old soul.”

Nicholas had turned down a temporary job so he could spend the summer with his father, something he never got to do. On the morning he died, Nicholas was on the way to school early.

This collision happened on June 2, 2014 near Hicks Street and Lorraine Street in Brooklyn. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.