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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 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 under 18 can receive double the compensation benefits that would otherwise 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.

Several fundraising campaigns have been established for Mr. Bouchard.

The Brett Bouchard Recovery Fund is a donation page listed on youcaring.com that was set up by his family. The site has 49 supporters so far and has raised $2,265.

Violi’s Restaurant manager Mia Violi also started an online fundraiser for Mr. Bouchard that can be found at www.gofundme.com/8nz5pc. Its 104 donations have raised $4,960.

The Elks Lodge, 20 Bowers St., is holding 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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