MASSENA -- A 17-year-old employee at Violi's Restaurant had an arm severed in an accident while he was working on Thursday night.
Brett Bouchard, 17, lost an arm at the elbow while cleaning a pasta-making machine, according to Violi's manager Mia Violi.
Superintendent of St. Lawrence Couny Dispatch Operations James Chestnut confirmed that paramedics were sent to the Center Street eatery around 8:30 p.m. for a report of a traumatic injury.
Violi said it's not yet known how Bouchard came to lose the arm in the machine.
"No one really knows ... it shouldn't have been turned on," she said.
Violi said a scream was heard coming from the basement and Bouchard came upstairs missing an arm. She said she rushed to call 911, but two restaurant patrons, Mike and Joanne Walsh, tried to slow the bleeding and drove him to the hospital in their vehicle.
Violi said Bouchard was flown from Massena Memorial Hospital to a hospital in the Boston area, where he has undergone surgery.
"As far as we know, his arm has been reattached and he feels warmth in his fingers," she said.
Violi said the incident was a freak accident.
"In 67 years, we've never had an accident like this. It's brought everyone to their knees. A lot of prayers are being said," she stated.
Violi described the restaurant as a very tight-knit crew where all are treated as family.
"We all love him so much. This has been very, very difficult," she said.
The restaurant personnel today are eerily quiet, Violi said, still in shock because of the incident.
"There's not even a peep," she said.