Community Comes Together After Tragic Wood Chipper Incident

A 6-year-old boy went to work with his father, where the tragedy happened.

The community of Salem is coming together to remember a 6-year-old boy who was killed in a tragic accident involving a wood chipper on Brookside Drive in Salem on Tuesday.

Jeffrey Bourgeois, 6, was helping his father clear brush in a neighbor's yard on Tuesday morning when his arm got stuck in an industrial wood chipper and the machine pulled, state police said.

Several Salem residents gathered at  the Salem School field at 5 p.m. and hold a service and to release red balloons to honor Jeffrey.

The school is also providing support for members of the school community suffering from the loss.

Even though students are off for vacation this week, grief counselors are at the elementary school to offer counseling services for students, staff and parents to deal with the death of the first grader.

Counselors will be available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Salem School.

Counseling services will also be available for students and staff when they return to school next week.

Jeffrey was the youngest of the three Bourgeois children, according to a letter from the superintendent of schools, and his two siblings also go to the school.   

"We are saddened by the loss of Jeffrey in our school community and will make every effort to support your children, our staff and our families as we collectively grieve his passing," Supt. H. Kaye Griffin wrote in her letter to the school community. 

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