Downeast community unites in wake of teen's tragic death

Washington County Community Shaken By Death Of Young Man

MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The close-knit community surrounding Machias united after 18-year-old Camron Roberts was killed in a car accident Monday in Northfield.

“It’s pretty devastating,” Julie Barker said. “When you love deep it hurts really deep.”

Barker, who said she knows the Roberts family well, hung yellow and balloons outside of Helen’s Restaurant to show support.

"Everyone wants to help, but there's nothing you can do, so this a way to show love and support of the Roberts family,” she said.

It was an idea started by another neighboring business owner Michelle Wood and Shayna Ramsdell at Bella Vita Salon.

"I know that there's nothing that any of us can do to take this away,” Ramsdell said. “But I want to be able to have everybody show support and put those balloons out there and say, ‘Hey. We're here.’"

Ramsdell and Wood said tragedies like this hit the small-town community hard. The pair took the business’s Facebook page to get other area businesses on board.

18-year-old Roberts was killed when his truck crossed the center line on Rt. 192 and collided with a blueberry truck.

His 16-year-old brother was seriously injured in the crash and flown by Lifeflight to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The accident comes as accidents among young drivers between the ages of 16-20 in the state have slowly risen over the last few years. However, fatalities are slowly falling – 12 in 2016 compared to 22 back in 2012, according to the Department of Transportation.

"With something like this everybody's affected,” Washington County Sherriff Barry Curtis said.

Curtis, who was on the scene Monday, said it is a sensitive time. One of his youngest deputies was off duty when he came upon the accident. Curtis said the 22-year-old knew Roberts and immediately started first aid.

"I know down deep that this has affected him quite a bit,” he said.

Wood said she hopes the community can heal together and rally around the Roberts family.

“In a small town everyone comes together,” she said.

A simple gesture of yellow and white balloons aimed at sending a powerful message.

"We just want them to know that we love them,” Ramsdell said.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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