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Massena teen’s condition serious; restaurant accident probe may take three months

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MASSENA — A Massena 17-year-old who severed his arm in a restaurant’s pasta-making machine last week remained in serious condition Wednesday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Federal investigations of the circumstances of the accident at Violi’s Restaurant that injured Brett M. Bouchard are underway. Mr. Bouchard was cleaning the pasta-making machine Thursday evening when his right arm was severed at the elbow. He underwent surgery Friday.

Christopher R. Adams, area director for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the agency is investigating, but will not have any information for at least one month. He said the investigation could take two to three months.

Section 14-A of the state Workers’ Compensation Law states that an employee younger than 18 can receive double the compensation benefits that otherwise would be awarded if the workplace accident is related to a labor law violation.

The U.S. Labor Department Wage and Hour Division is investigating whether a labor law was violated.

Benjamin Hahn, an office technician at the Syracuse office, said Monday that the legal age for an employee to operate a pasta-making machine is 18, but did not clarify whether Mr. Bouchard’s cleaning the machine would be considered operating it.

A week after the accident, several fundraising campaigns established for Mr. Bouchard are raising money to help the family with medical and travel expenses.

The Brett Bouchard Recovery Fund is a donation page listed on youcaring.com that was set up by his family.

As of Wednesday night, the site has 51 supporters so far and has raised $2,565. The page can be found at http://wdt.me/w33Cw9.

Violi’s Restaurant manager Mia Violi also started an online fundraiser for Mr. Bouchard that can be found at www.gofundme.com/8nz5pc. Its 106 donations so far have raised $5,110.

The Elks Lodge, 20 Bowers St., will hold a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday to raise money for Mr. Bouchard’s medical bills and his family’s travel expenses. The dinner costs $10 a plate.

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