Community rallies around Cumberland teen

Community rallies around Cumberland teen

A large gathering of friends and supporters holds lighted candles Monday night at a vigil for Cameron Faria in Cumberland’s Diamond Hill Park. Faria is in a Boston hospital after a serious accident last Thursday. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)
Lincoln teen also hurt in Rte. 495 crash

CUMBERLAND – Family and friends held a vigil at Diamond Hill Park on Monday evening in support of 17-year-old Cameron Faria, of Cumberland, who sustained serious head trauma and has been in a coma since a rollover accident last Thursday, July 5, on Route 495 in Middleboro, Mass.

Gregory Salvatore, an 18-year-old from Lincoln, was also seriously injured in the crash. Salvatore graduated from Lincoln High School in June and plans to attend boot camp, and then college, once he recovers, his mother said.

Salvatore’s mother, Tammy Gannites Bourgeois, told The Breeze her son was home resting as of Tuesday morning after being flown by MedFlight to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment.

“Greg is hurting but doing well. ... He was the luckiest out of all of them. Someone was watching over him,” Bourgeois said.

“We are all taking this pretty hard. Praying for all of them,” Bourgeois added.

Faria’s former wrestling coach at Cumberland High School, Steve Gordon, said Faria is “mentally and physically strong. ... I’m confident he’ll get better.”

“He’s respectful on and off the mat, and he’s a really great kid. … He’s someone you want to be friends with,” Gordon said. “I firmly believe Cam is going to pull out of this. I have very strong faith in that.”

Gordon and his wife were among several hundred people who attended Monday night’s vigil at Diamond Hill Park, organized, in part, by the parents of Cumberland wrestlers.

“They came out in droves last night on such short notice,” Gordon said, noting that the Faria family will find all the support it needs in Rhode Island’s close-knit wrestling community. “Wrestlers all have this ability to kind of step up when you have to step up. The community has rallied.”

A GoFundMe account set up to assist the Faria family with medical costs raised $35,000 in three days, with a goal of $50,000. To view the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/family-of-cameron-faria .

In an update posted to the GoFundMe page Monday, Faria’s father said Cameron remained in a coma and that neurologists were monitoring brain swelling and pressure.

“All we can do for now is pray and focus on the positives. Cameron is tough and is physically in great shape which makes me believe he can overcome this with time,” he wrote. “I cannot begin to tell how much you all have touched myself and my family. I am truly overwhelmed by the love and support you all have shown us at our time of need. We are so blessed to have friends, family and community praying and pulling for Cameron.

“This tragedy has given me a new perspective on what is really important in my life, and you have all helped me to see this.”

A sign hung up outside Cumberland High School reads, “Cumberland Loves You, Cameron.”

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and Crime Scene Services Section.

According to Massachusetts State Police, a 26-year-old male driver from Providence was traveling south in a 2003 Ford F-350 with Faria and Salvatore as passengers when he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over and crash into a tree off the breakdown lane. The driver and Faria were trapped in the vehicle when it caught fire, and were rescued by passersby who stopped at the scene to extinguish the fire, police said. Middleboro and Wareham Fire Department personnel extricated the pair using the Jaws of Life.

The driver was transported to Tobey Hospital in Wareham before being flown via MedFlight to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, police said. Faria was flown by MedFlight to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Faria’s mother, Michelle, told NBC-10 that her son was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, which occurred on his way to work.

Cameron Faria
Well-wishers gather at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland Monday night to light candles and show their support for Cameron Faria and his family. Cameron remains in a Boston hospital, where he was taken with serious injuries after a crash on Route 495 in Middleboro, Mass., last Thursday, July 5.
Cameron’s brother Dylan Faria, center, speaks to the gathering about his brother. At right is Cameron’s other brother, Aidan Faria, and at left is Rhonda Tougas, an organizer of the candlelight vigil.
Kourtney Roque, left, and Kameron Porcaro, both of Cumberland, wear green and blue, colors supportive of traumatic brain injury awareness.
Well-wishers sign a giant get well card at a candlelight vigil on Monday at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland for Cameron Faria, 17, of Cumberland, one of three young men injured in an automobile accident last Thursday, July 5.