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First picture of the boy, 6, who was killed after being sucked into wood chipper

A small town has united in grief at the horrific death of a six-year-old boy sucked into a wood chipper.

Jeffrey Bourgeois died after getting pulled into the machine while helping his father on a landscaping job one morning during his school holiday in Salem, Connecticut.

The boy was putting a branch into the industrial-sized chipper when it yanked him when his father Scott, 39, momentarily turned his back.

Tragic: Jeffrey Bourgeois, six, was killed after being pulled into a wood chipper while on his school holiday

The family has been helped to cope with their loss by the community of Salem, a town with fewer than 4,000 residents, in the form of cash and meals.

Erin Cummings, who lives near the scene of the accident in Salem, told the Hartford Courant: 'It affected the whole community so much. It was just so tragic.'

Mrs Cummings is helping to organise a picnic for the whole community to support the family, which is taking place tomorrow.

Food and items for an auction were donated by local people and businesses.

All proceeds will go to a fund set up for the Bourgeois family.

Mrs Cummings added: 'It's really amazing to see how people have responded.

Accident: Jeffrey Bourgeois was putting a branch in the chipper when it yanked him in while he helped his father on a job at a Salem home, pictured

'This is to give the family some peace of mind, so they don't have to worry about how to pay their bills and can focus on healing and family.'

In the week after Jeffrey's death in April, thousands of people gathered on Salem's town green for a candlelight vigil to pray for the boy and his family.

Speaking shortly after Jeffrey died, Lieutenant J. Paul Vance, spokesman for Connecticut state police spokesman, said the accident was so horrific that counsellors had to be immediately called to the scene.

'The little guy was apparently trying to help his dad,' he said at the time.

'It's a very tragic and difficult scene for everybody.'

The Bourgeois family live just half a mile from where the accident happened.

Jeffrey was a first-grader at Salem Elementary School, where he was honoured in its newsletter with a 'Caught Being Good' award in December.

He, his two older siblings and their mother Corinne also enjoyed running in road races.

Salem First Selectman Kevin Lynden said Jeffrey's death was 'a very, very sad day for our Salem residents'.

He added: 'This was a Salem family, very good family in town, a well-known family.'

Scene: The accident happened at a home in Brookside drive, Salem, a town of fewer than 4,000 residents in Connecticut

Horrific: Jeffrey was helping his dad on a landscaping job when he was sucked into the industrial-sized chipper (file photo)

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Added: Jun-22-2012 Occurred On: Jun-22-2012
By: Zipper10
Other News
Tags: picture, of, boy, killed, wood, chipper
Location: Salem, Connecticut, United States (load item map)
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