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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/28/2005 7:49:17 AM EDT
Don't hit Fire Hydrants with Golf Clubs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Or you can die!

www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_2972234

Teen's death stuns family, friends
By J.J. Huggins
www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_2972234
GARDNER -- Family members of 15-year-old Rafael Naranjo remained in shock Wednesday morning while they arranged a funeral for the teen, who died accidentally Tuesday night after a piece of a golf club struck him in the neck.

Naranjo's family described him as an outgoing, popular boy who did well in school, loved to play soccer and enjoyed action movies.

"He's friends with everybody," Naranjo's cousin, Natalia Gomes, 14, said during an interview at Naranjo's home in the Heywood Place apartment complex at 206 Central St.

Naranjo lives in the apartment with his mother, Lina Maria Gomes, 31, and his stepfather, Hubert Taveras, 28.

"He liked to hang out with friends and stuff; he never got into trouble," Natalia Gomes continued.

Naranjo was born in Colombia, and moved to Fitchburg when he was 12, according to Natalia Gomes.

He lived on Hobson Street with his family, and graduated from Academy Middle School in 2004, then the family moved to Gardner and he attended Gardner High School last year, Natalia Gomes said.

Naranjo's mother was too upset to discuss the tragedy Wednesday morning.

Police say Naranjo "playfully" swung the 5-iron golf club at a fire hydrant at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Moran Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The impact snapped the club, and part of the metal rod flew into the air and punctured the boy's neck, according to police Det. Lt. Gerald J. Poirier.

Rescue crews responded to the scene after receiving a frantic 911 call from Naranjo's friend, and found the teen lying in the roadway, where another teen was applying direct pressure to the wound with a towel, according to Poirier.

Medics transported Naranjo to Heywood Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

"It was purely accidental," Poirier said during an interview at the police station. "I've never heard of such an accident. You could try that a thousand more times, and it probably wouldn't happen again."

Police are waiting for the medical examiners report to determine exactly how the wound managed to kill the boy, Poirier said.

Naranjo and his friends spent much of the summer hanging out at Naranjo's friend's house at 88 Pleasant St., directly across the street from the fire hydrant he hit with the golf club.

The teens went there to kick back, talk, play the guitar and skateboard around the neighborhood, according to John LeBlanc, a father who lives there with his two sons, Troy and Tyler, who were friends with Naranjo.

Naranjo and his friends found the old golf club ditched on the ground near 88 Pleasant St. earlier that evening, and began playing around with it, Naranjo's friend, Slade Lewis, 17, said during an interview at the home.

They took turns striking the fire hydrant, causing the club to bend and eventually snap.

Lewis immediately called 911 on his cell phone when the broken piece hit Naranjo, he said.

John LeBlanc rushed outside, and a group of people tried to slow the bleeding, but couldn't.

"These guys did everything they could," LeBlanc said.

The teens are now left dealing with the loss of their friend, whom they had only known since he met Troy LeBlanc, 15, in school six months ago.

LeBlanc said his son's circle of friends quickly accepted Naranjo, and grew to admire him.

"All these kids loved him," LeBlanc said, motioning to the group of about eight grim-faced teens who gathered at the house Wednesday. "He was a very well-liked kid, he was always polite. It was always, 'Thank you sir.'"

Naranjo's friends are trying to move on after Tuesday's incident, but they will remember Naranjo like the good person he was, said Kevin Gravelle, 18, of Gardner.

"We're tying to put it behind us, but he's still in our memory," Gravelle said.

Naranjo played on Gardner High School's junior varsity soccer team, which was scheduled to begin practicing at 8 a.m. today.

Gardner High School Principal Michael Baldassarre said grief counselors will be on hand at today's soccer practice, and will remain available through the beginning of the school year, which starts Aug. 31.

"It's not the way we want to start our school year," Baldassarre said. "Our prayers go out to the family. We're here for them."

Baldassarre has only been on the job since July 1, and never met Naranjo, he said.

But Naranjo's biology teacher, Scott Hemlin, described the teen as someone who always had a smile on his face.

"He acted as if it was his job to make everybody as happy as he was," Baldassarre said.

The Lamoureux-Fletcher Community Funeral Home in Gardner will be conducting Naranjo's funeral.

Calling hours will be at the funeral home at 105 Central St., from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday.

The funeral will take place at the funeral home on Monday at 9:45 a.m., and will be followed by a mass in Sacred Heart Church, 166 Cross St., Gardner at 11 a.m.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 7:52:45 AM EDT
dupe
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 7:53:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ring:
"It's not the way we want to start our school year," Baldassarre said.




Now what he really wanted to say "This dumb fuck ruined the start of the new school year, he deserved it"
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:08:06 AM EDT
Like you never did anything stupid when you were a kid.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:10:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:11:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:13:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
Like you never did anything stupid when you were a kid.

Not quite THAT stupid...



Also why is it bad karma. Karma is a function of how you treat others. He didnt do anything to someone else. So why is it bad karma?
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:14:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:19:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 8:19:40 AM EDT by Defcon]
Duplicate thread. See link above.
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