Mom of teen killed in Freetown crash: ‘He was the life of the party’

SE Mass

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A 16-year-old Taunton boy killed in a crash last week on Route 24 will be laid to rest later this week.

The boy was identified on Tuesday by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office as Gemmini Wehrli.

Wehrli was a junior at Taunton Alternative High School, according to Superintendent John Cabral. His obituary states he was born in St. Petersburg, Florida.

A funeral service for Wehrli will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Boule Funeral Home on Broadway in Fall River, preceded by calling hours starting at 4 p.m.

The crash that claimed Wehrli’s life took place just after 8:30 p.m. last Thursday on Route 24 North near Exit 10 in Freetown.

His mother, Elisa Brown, tells Eyewitness News her son was a passenger in her car when she swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Her car ended up hitting the guardrail and rolling over, causing her son to be thrown from the vehicle.

Brown said she remembers the crash vividly.

“It just happens in an instant and there’s nothing you can do, and that’s the worst part. It was a nightmare,” she said. “We just flipped and my ears were ringing and everything was white, and I could hear my kids screaming but I didn’t see Gemmini.”

The DA’s office said Wehrli was then hit by an oncoming car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I knew he was gone; I checked for a pulse,” Brown tearfully recalled. “I’ve had medical training and I tried to do CPR.”

Brown, her three other passengers and the driver of another vehicle were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations for Wehrli’s family. In a letter to parents, Cabral said grief counselors will be available at the school for students having trouble coping with the loss.

Brown said everyone should be inspired by the way her son lived his life.

“He would walk up to anybody and start a conversation. He was the life of the party,” Brown said. “He was a light in a dark room. It’s so quiet without him. He was full of life and so motivated and determined.”

“He was always happy and smiling, trying to make someone else smile…give you a hug,” she added. “That’s how you should live your life.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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