Residents of a small Massachusetts town came by an elementary school Friday to pay their respects after an 8-year-old boy was killed Thursday, when a large television and cart fell on him during an after-school program.
Mourners placed stuffed animals, flowers and handmade cards, in front of the Elm Street School in Gardner, Ma., in memory of 8-year-old Colby O'Brien, according to The Boston Globe on Feb. 7.
The accident occurred around 4 p.m. in the central Massachusetts town about 55 miles west of Boston. Colby was taken to Henry Heywood Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
State police detectives assigned to the Worcester district attorney's office are heading an investigation into the boy's apparent accidental death, according to the Worcester Telegram.
"Just talking about it, I want to cry," said Danielle Thebeault, 37, who left a little red Valentine's Day puppy at the makeshift memorial. Thebeault's 10-year-old daughter Cheyanne knew O’Brien and was badly shaken by the little boy's death.
Thebeault's daughter called him a nice boy. She also said O’Brien had a twin sister and had a younger brother. The mother told her child that the little boy was up in heaven now with his family and past pets.
As candles burned at the shrine, 72-year-old Linda LaFreniere arrived after getting a call from her daughter that her 10-year-old grandson Nathan was overwhelmed.
"It’s just a really sad thing," she said, adding, "You just don’t ever expect anything like that when you drop your kids off."
School was in session Friday in the town of about 20,000 residents. Grief counselors were on hand to help students, parents and members of the community through the tragedy. A school official declined further comment.
According to its website, Elm Street School has 518 students enrolled in grades 3 through 5. The after school program is in session from 3 to 5:30 p.m.. It offers, games, crafts, indoor and outdoor play, and other supervised activities.
Shirley Atkinson, 52, was crying as she arrived at the memorial and placed a teddy bear covered in hearts next to the other items. Her grandson played sports with Colby whom she called a playful child.
She said a tragedy like this hits the whole community. "My sympathy goes to all involved," she added.