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6-year old Dies in Wood Chipper, Town Grieves Together
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At 8:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, 6-year-old Jeffrey Bourgeois accidentally fell into his father’s wood chipper and died. Now the entire community has come together to support the family in a gesture of solidarity.

Jeffrey was on school vacation and with his two brothers was helping his dad, Scott Bourgeois, who owns C&S Tree Removal.  When the fathers back was turned, the boy fed in a branch to the chipper and fell in to his death. Eugene Maiorano, the town’s fire chief, was the first authority to respond, and quickly secured the scene so that nobody would get too close.

“We’re getting counseling for the family,” said Maiorano. “The family lives right across the street from me so I was the first on the scene. Saw that we had basically kept everybody away.”


The community has taken steps to quickly staunch the wound of a lost child. Counseling was promptly offered for the family and neighbors, and the elementary school where Jeffrey was a 1st grader also made grief counselors available to students and staff.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held for Jeffrey and his grieving family, where red balloons were released, candles lit, and “Amazing Grace” sung by the crowd.

“We are so grateful and appreciative for everything that everyone has provided for us,” said Corinne Bourgeois, Jeffrey’s mother. “And for all the prayers … we are so thankful.”

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Rev. Tim Dubeau also gave his concern and guidance, noting of the vigil. “There are some things words can’t explain. This is a show of solidarity for the family. We’re there for them.”

Town officials such as First Selectman Kevin Lynden have made consoling visits to the family as well. He called the incident “a very, very sad day for our Salem residents. This was a Salem family, very good family in town, a well-known family. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.”


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