Top Stories 2012: Millbury Loses Owen Carrignan To E. Coli

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Owen Carrignan
Owen Carrignan

MILLBURY, Mass. — The Millbury Daily Voice will recap the top 10 news stories of the year as 2012 comes to a close.

Millbury was shocked and saddened back in May when the news of the death of 6-year-old Owen Carrignan from a particularly lethal strain of E. coli was announced.

Carrignan, a first grader at the Elmwood St. School, was stricken with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infection. The Worcester and Millbury boards of health launched an investigation, retracing Carrignan’s steps in an attempt to find out how he contracted the illness. 

The painstaking work frustrated investigators, and Millbury Board of Health Vice Chair Armand White said "no stone is being left unturned, the investigation is ongoing, but so far it all has been a dead-end."

The Carrignan family started a scholarship fund in Owen’s honor and sold wrist bands with Owen’s name on one side and “Never Forgotten” on the other as well as T-shirts saying “Tough Guys Wear Pink” that were seen everywhere in town.

Former Millbury resident and New York Mets pitcher and broadcaster Ron Darling helped out the scholarship fund by putting up a big ticket package for a Mets game as a raffle prize. The package, awarded during the Millbury Fire Field Day, included:

  • Four prime tickets to a Mets game in 2013;
  • Darling's prime parking spot at the stadium;
  • A pass to batting practice, on the field, prior to the game;
  • A visit to the Sportsnet New York television booth.

But it did little to lessen the loss of a little boy who “had an infectious smile that never left his face. His eyes and heart sparkled with his passion for life and he was so full of love and kindness," his family wrote in his obituary.

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