Fourth-grader dead after weekend car crash
WESTPORT — What was supposed to be a fun family trip upstate to the Baseball Hall of Fame ended in tragedy this week for a Westport family.
Perrin Delorey, a Greens Farm Elementary School fourth-grader, died Monday from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle collision just about 30 miles outside Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday.
New York State Police are still investigating the cause of the fatal crash.
On Tuesday, Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer broke the news to the school community with an email to parents.
“It is with significant sadness that our school community has experienced the sudden loss of fourth-grade student Perrin Delorey. Perrin passed away yesterday after being involved in a car accident on Sunday, June 10, 2018. As a school community, we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Perrin,” Palmer wrote. “I send this note out with a heavy heart that we have lost such an amazing little boy who was loved by so many and who exuded life in all he did. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Around 3 p.m. Sunday, New York troopers were called to Route 20 in Sharon, N.Y., on reports of a head-on collision. Police said it appeared the driver, Perrin Delorey’s father, James C. Delorey, 49, was heading eastbound in a 2016 Mini Cooper when he crossed the center line and crashed head on into a vehicle traveling westbound.
Both James Delorey and his front-seat passenger, Perrin Delorey’s mother, Angela H. Ryan, 47, were taken to the Albany Medical Center Hospital. James Delorey, senior vice president of research at public affairs firm Global Strategy Group, was released from the hospital the same day of the crash. Ryan was released on Tuesday.
The driver of the other vehicle, 63-year-old Mohawk, N.Y., native Sherman W. Day, was last listed in serious condition with head and neck injuries. A second occupant was uninjured.
Perrin Delorey, 10, was in the backseat of the Mini Cooper and suffered serious head and internal injuries. He was also transferred to Albany Medical Center Hospital and was on life support following the accident.
Police said the accident is under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Collision Reconstruction, and the uniform patrol, and retracted an original statement that said Perrin was not wearing a seatbelt.
”After an autopsy, we can say that there was a seatbelt in use and he was properly restrained,” said New York State Police Troop G Public Information Officer Mark J. Cepiel, on Thursday.
According to the family friend, the Deloreys have made arrangements to donate their son’s organs.
The 10-year-old’s passing has left many in the community stricken with grief.
“Certainly the Greens Farms school community and the whole public education structure is in the process of doing anything they can to address not only the family’s needs, but the community’s needs, to comprehend and deal with Perrin’s death. As a town, we’ll do everything and anything necessary to ease the pain of this terrible loss,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “But the reality is this will take a long time.”
An after-hours open house was hosted Tuesday at Greens Farms Elementary School, where Perrin Delorey was in fourth grade, to “provide support and comfort for students and parents of GFS.” In addition, a parent informational session on how to talk to children about grieving and loss was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Long Lots School.
Jeffrey Brill, president of Westport Little League Baseball and Softball, issued a statement to the little league community on Tuesday.
“I have gotten to know Perrin very well over the years while coaching him in baseball, basketball and soccer. Wearing number 5 on the Cubs this season, Perrin embodied the ethos and spirit of Little League. He exuded the team player concept and was committed to working hard to help his team. Awarding him a game ball earlier in the season, and seeing his face in the moment, was a highlight of the coaches’ and players’ season,” Brill wrote. He added that the fourth-grader was the most improved player this season.
According to Brill, Delorey’s mother informed the coach that Perrin would be missing the team’s Saturday playoff game to see the Hall of Fame. Brill encouraged the family to take the trip, promising that Delorey would play in the AA baseball team’s next game.
“If we can take anything away from this senseless tragedy, it is that life can be transient and fragile, and one should relish every moment with one’s loved ones on the field and off the field,” his coach said.
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