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Conn. Community Remembers 6-Year-Old Killed By Wood Chipper

Jeffrey Bourgeois (credit: Handout/WFSB.com)

Jeffrey Bourgeois (credit: Handout/WFSB.com)

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SALEM, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Residents in Salem gathered in grief to remember a 6-year-old boy killed in wood chipper accident this week.

Nearly 100 adults and children attended a memorial ceremony for Jeffrey Bourgeois on Wednesday afternoon outside Salem Elementary School, where he attended first grade. The crowd released dozens of helium-filled red balloons into the air in Jeffrey’s honor.

Jeffrey died Tuesday morning when he put a branch into a wood chipper his father was using and was pulled into the machine. The 6-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jeffrey and two older siblings were helping their father clear brush from the yard at the time of the incident, said state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.

Counselors have been made available at Salem Elementary School this week.

“We are saddened by the loss of Jeffrey in our school community,” H. Kaye Griffin, interim superintendent said in a statement to parents posted on the school’s website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeffrey’s family and we share their grief as they mourn the death their child and little brother.”

Residents are also planning to get together on the town green at 7:45 p.m. Thursday for a candlelight vigil.

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