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Snowstorm turns deadly

Charlton man collapses while shoveling snow

Misael Rivera, 12, of Southbridge shovels snow outside his home after yesterday afternoon's storm blanketed the area with heavy, wet snow. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
December 09, 2009
CHARLTON — Despite the efforts of an off-duty officer, a Charlton man died Wednesday as a result of the first major snowstorm of the year.

At approximately 10:40 a.m., Charlton Police Officer Gary Wood went to the aid of a neighbor who collapsed while shoveling the slush-laden snow outside 62 J Davis Road.

"It was right next door to the officer's home," Charlton Police Chief James Pervier said Wednesday. "He saw him collapse and he called it in."

According to Pervier, Wood began performing CPR on the 61-year-old man whose identity was not released pending notification of next of kin. Pervier went on to say the man appeared to have suffered a heart attack, but could not confirm whether or not that was the cause of death and if the man was suffering from additional underlying health issues.

Wood was joined on the scene by Officer Mark Lapiore.

"They brought him back," Pervier said. "They maintained him for a while."

"It was a really valiant effort to do the right thing," the chief added.

The man was initially taken to Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge before being transported to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester where he died early in the afternoon.

Pervier commended Wood and Lapiore for their efforts in trying to revive the fallen man.

Charlton emergency crews also responded Wednesday to an incident on Center Depot Road, in which an 18-year-old male suffered a single finger amputation while using a snow blower.

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