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Junior firefighter among 2 teens killed in fiery crash

Northfield Junior Firefighter Matthew Rousseau, 16, was killed Tuesday when a vehicle carrying him and four of his classmates struck a tree and caught fire


By Laura French

TORRINGTON, Conn. — A junior firefighter and another teen were killed in a fiery vehicle crash Tuesday that also injured three other high school students.

Northfield Fire Company Junior Firefighter Matthew Rousseau, 16, and his classmate Thomas Graveline, 16, were killed when the vehicle they were in left the road and went down an embankment before striking a tree and catching fire, according to NCB Connecticut. Three others, all Litchfield High School students between the ages of 14 and 16, were also injured in the crash.

“Matt was an amazing young man. Polite, full of enthusiasm, and always a smile on his face. He never hesitated to jump in and lend a hand around the firehouse when he could, even when he was busy with school, athletics, and all that goes into being a teenager,” the Northfield Fire Company said in a statement on Facebook. “He was what every parent wants their kid to be like, and we were honored to have known him for the time that he was here.”

The crash is under investigation, according to Torrington Police Chief William Baldwin, who said Rousseau and Graveline were in the rear seat of the vehicle at the time of the crash and that two other injured teens managed to leave the vehicle to get help.

Firefighters said the car was fully involved in fire when they arrived at the scene.

Superintendent Chris Leone of Litchfield Public Schools and the Regional School District No. 6 released a statement saying counseling services will be made available for students, staff and community members following the deadly crash.