A 20-year-old was killed Sunday night when his car slammed into a fence in a residential neighborhood in Salem, Massachusetts.
Salem police say officers responded to the serious crash around 6:18 p.m. and found a car had gone into a fence in the front yard of a Puritan Road home.
The driver and sole occupant died at the scene. He has been identified as Kory Ouellette, of Salem, police said.
A witness told NBC10 Boston that he held the driver’s hand until he died.
“I was just telling him keep breathing, keep breathing, gotta breathe kid. Gotta breathe kid,” Vinny Valenti recalled.
The home improvement worker says he was renovating a nearby when he heard the loud crash and went running to try to help the driver.
“I ran out and there was a whole 12-foot pole, the top of the fence, it went through the windshield, through his neck and out the back window,” he said.
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Valenti says he broke the back window, unlocked the doors and tried calling Ouellette’s family from his cell phone but couldn’t unlock it. Instead, he sat in the passenger’s seat and held his hand.
“I couldn’t move him. So I just held him until the ambulances came,” Valenti said. “But he passed away before they could even help him.”
Several other neighbors also saw the tragedy unfold.
Erykah C., who lives next door and heard the loud collision, says she tried to support Valenti as others watched and took photos.
“I felt like I had to make sure he was okay because he went through a lot in that moment,” she said.
Investigators have not said what caused the crash.
People living nearby say they want road safety lights and signs at the nearby intersection.
“There have been numerous accidents here that happen at least once a month,” Erick R. said.
No other vehicles were involved, police said. Salem detectives and the state police reconstruction team are investigating the circumstances of the fatal crash.
Police have not said if speed was a factor but neighbors who witnessed the crash tell NBC10 Boston they do not believe it was.
An investigation is ongoing.