A family, a fire department, and a close-knit community are grieving after a mother and son were killed in a car accident in Fitchburg Sunday morning.
36-year-old Michelle Martens and her 16-year-old son Justin Fournier – both of Ashby – were in this Kia Sportage when it crossed the center line on Ashby State Road and hit this Chevy Silverado head on.
Michelle’s father and Justin’s grandfather Walter Hansen said, “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, I felt many pains over the years trying to help other people, and pains in our own lives and nothing really compares to this.”
Walter had been to many calls like this one as Ashby’s Assistant Fire Chief, following in his own father’s footsteps.
Michelle had joined the department as an on-call firefighter and EMT a few years ago, while her son recently became a member of the department’s auxiliary ranks.
Walter said, “I was looking forward to having the opportunity to teach him some of the things I learned, and bring him up to the point where he would have been a good fireman.”
Now, Walter and his wife Terry are left to remember their daughter and grandson, while taking over caring for their granddaughter Jasmine.
“She was one fantastic mom, those kids were the best thing to ever happen to her,” said Terry, “and I hope we can continue to do a good job raising Jas.”
The Hansens are also thinking of the other man injured in the accident – Wayne Patenaude – who is ironically also an Ashby firefighter and very close friends with Walter.
Ashby Fire Chief William Seymour Jr. said, “Once he learned who was in the other vehicle he didn’t – understandably, he didn’t take it too well.”
But for now the focus remains on remembering Michelle and Justin.
Terry said, “They were perfect, perfect in my eyes at least.”
Walter said, “They were everything you could ever ask for a child and grandchild, I wouldn’t trade them with anybody.”