Skip to comments.Small town devastated by death of 6-year-old boy [Woodchipper]
Posted on 04/10/2012 6:05:32 PM PDT by Third Person
Salem A 6-year-old boy died this morning when he was pulled into a commercial-size wood chipper while working with his father and two siblings.
The boy has been identified as Jeffrey Bourgeois of Salem.
State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said that shortly after 8:45 a.m. a 911 call was received that a child had been injured by a wood chipper.
"It was a tragic accident," Vance said. "... A difficult scene for everyone who responded."
The boy's parents are Scott and Corinne Bourgeois, who own C&S Tree Removal.
Vance said the boy was with his father, who was working on a job site at 24 Brookside Drive. Vance said the father had turned his back when the boy fed a piece of wood into the chipper and was pulled in.
In this small town of about 4,000, residents and business owners were devastated at the news that one of their own had died so tragically.
Gene Maiorano, the chief of the Salem Volunteer Fire Co. for 33 years, lives nearby the Bourgeois family and was the first to respond to the scene of the accident. He said that he recalled Jeffrey visiting the firehouse with his Cub Scout pack to see the firetrucks. Maiorano also said Jeffrey and his two siblings enjoyed being outdoors. "I know that he loved working with his father," Maiorano said. "Every time they could, they enjoyed doing it. They were always outside playing and doing stuff." Maiorano said the town has endured other tragic deaths. This will be another difficult one to cope with. "It's a small town and it was a tragic accident that happened today," Maiorano said. "It's going to take a long time for the town and the family to heal."
Babe Currier-McDonald, who owns Babe's Country Deli, at the Salem Four Corners, said the Bourgeois family have been customers for years. She said Scott Bourgeois would come to the eatery every week, sometimes daily. He would often bring his children two boys and a girl with him. "Everyone knows him," said Currier-McDonald of Scott. "We are a small town. It affects us all." Currier-McDonald said she heard of the tragedy from, Lou Gallo, who owns the nearby Hair Power salon. "When he told me, I was left speechless," Currier-McDonald said. "Even the customers were shocked and silent. Everyone stopped eating." She said Scott's children were well behaved, adding that Jeffrey "looked just like his dad." Gallo said he cut the hair of Scott and his two sons just last week. "They are really nice folks, very down to earth," Gallo said. "The children were so well behaved. He really loved his children. It's just heartbreaking."
Vance said the Salem Volunteer Fire Department, state police from Troop K and the Eastern District Major Crime Squad responded to the scene.
First Selectman Kevin Lyden also responded. "It was a terrible tragedy," Lyden said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the family. We will do everything we can to help the family." Lyden also notified school Superintendent Dr. Kaye Griffin of the accident. The boy was a first-grader at the elementary school, he said. School is not in session this week.
Griffin said this afternoon that grief and loss counseling services will be available for staff and students at the Salem School from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She added that there will be additional counseling available when school resumes on Monday.
"We really do want people to know that we're here to provide whatever assistance we can," Griffin said. "When something like this happens in a school community it affects everyone. We want to reach out to help anyone that needs help."
Lyden said this evening that family members from about 45 minutes away had joined the Bourgeois family at their home. The family unplugged their home phone after receiving numerous calls offering support. The town also made arrangements to provide them lunch and dinner. Lyden stopped at the home about 4 p.m. and said a priest and grief counselors had stopped by to speak with the family. Lyden said the town will likely continue food donations and may provide other support. "It's difficult to see a family have to go through such a tragic loss like this," Lyden said. "We will get through this as a community. We will give them whatever support they need." He said counselors will be made available to emergency personnel who responded to the scene.
Police have reopened Brookside Drive and West Road. A state police cruiser is stationed in front of the family's house.
A tragic accident. I don’t blame the father. He probably turned away for just a moment. It is like a child darting out into a street unexpectedly. The man will never forgive himself and this will be devastating to this whole family.
I don’t think he was being a jerk, I think that is going to be a common and normal reaction to something like this.
This is so sad that a family has to go through this. Poor lad, RIP and my prayers are with him and with his family.
I didn’t see this posted so thank you for doing so. I had just finished putting up a prayer request:
This happened a mile-and-a-half up the road from me. Very, very sad.
Yeah.. I’ve worked with my brother’s commercial wood chipper and I’m trying to envision how the child was “pulled in”. Maybe a sleeve got too close, or a tie-string from his sweatshirt, or a branch hooked him somehow? It was most certainly a lightning-strike freak accident.
Bet the father didn’t intend for him to feed the chipper
Saw dad feeding the thing and tried to copy dad
The poor father has my prayers
I’ve seen accidents like these break marriages twice
Horrible, didn’t read it.
The boy’s father will re-live it the rest of his life.
May everyone rest in peace.
Too bad the gut-wrenching recognition of this tragedy doesn’t translate to the horrific, intentional destruction of nascent life by similar means.
Indeed. What in the hell was he thinking letting a 6 year old anywhere near that thing?
He'll pay for his mistake every day of his life from now on. I can't imagine the anguish.
Prayers for the family, friends, you & the whole town. Terrible tradjedy.
When I was seven we were in the fields picking cotton when the boss ran over his young infant son. My mother held the baby on the way to the hospital. He died in her arms. Man, that was sad!
When I was nine a fellow classmate was burned to death when a gas can, ignited by the water heater, exploded in the garage. This was before code required the water heater to be off the floor. I remember the funeral. Another sad day.
I pray for this family. The father will live with this for the rest of his life.
Hate to say it - father is a moron .
Your comment would have been better unsaid..........
I expect they will get a healthy respect for machines.
This father is in so much pain right now, it makes me sick for some to pile on with the blame. It was an accident. My gosh, people "act humane for a change".
Prayers for the family, I can not imagine their pain. May the Lord hear their tears and bring them the peace that passes all understanding.
God help them.
You bet, someone that young should have never been allowed within 20 feet of that machine when running.
Very brutal, very sad.