, Salem, MA

Local News

June 15, 2007

Teen's death in rollover devastates family, friends

PEABODY - Corey Bettencourt's mother left a message on his cell phone Wednesday afternoon, but she got a call back from Salem Hospital instead.

Seana Bettencourt's 18-year-old son died from injuries sustained in a car crash on Route 107 in Salem shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Through tearful gasps, she said her son had been on his way to Lynn, running an errand for a friend.

He would never arrive.

The Ford Explorer he was driving collided with a Buick Park Avenue in front of a Wal-Mart and flipped multiple times before stopping, according to eyewitnesses and police. The teen was thrown from the vehicle. Soon, an ambulance rushed him to Salem Hospital.

After hospital workers called her, Seana Bettencourt phoned her husband, Tony, who works in Maine during the week. She rushed to the hospital.

"I stayed there with Corey, and I stood there by his side for 21/2 hours," she said. She didn't want her son to get cold before his father had the chance to say goodbye. Meanwhile, Tony Bettencourt inched his way through the accident traffic, trying desperately to see his son at Salem Hospital, he said.

Seana Bettencourt said her son was slated to take his final GED test later that day, and she called to tell him not to forget his can of Red Bull, an energy drink that helped him concentrate.

"He was such a good kid," Seana Bettencourt said, sobbing. "He was so helpful. He helped anybody. All they had to do was ask."

Her son was "beyond smart," she said, but had struggled to finish school. He had little patience for homework, she said. The day Corey Bettencourt dropped out, his mother said he signed up to take his GED. He knew he was breaking her heart by not completing high school.

One of nine grandchildren, Corey Bettencourt was the only boy, his father said. And his cousins and sisters, 21-year-old Shannon and 12-year-old Janessa, loved him dearly, he said.

Bettencourt's death comes as high school draws to a close, and his electronics teacher Mark Metropolis said the shock of his student's death hadn't really hit him yesterday morning.

"I'm sure it will," Metropolis said.

Bettencourt's teacher for three years, Metropolis said his student had a knack for computers and could fix anything. He could see a future for Bettencourt in the field.

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