PLYMOUTH (CBS) – Through heavy tears, James Ward, Senior told WBZ he tried to save his son, James, Jr. He gave him CPR but could not bring him back to life. The 14-year-old died Sunday after a head-on collision with another dirt bike.
His father did not want to talk on camera, but friend Kenny Knight says the family would often ride bikes and ATV’s near their house in Plymouth. “He enjoyed it very much and as a family they do a lot,” Kenny Knight said, fighting back tears.
When the crash happened Sunday afternoon around 2pm, Knight says James had no time to react. “He came around a corner and the other guy hit him head-on. It’s just a very freak accident,” he said. It happened near a cranberry bog not far from the Ward home. James Ward, Senior says he told the man who hit his son to go get help and come back. But he didn’t return. “We don’t know who he was at all,” Knight said.
It was James’ father who called 911. Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri says officers found the other man injured at a hospital, but he’s not releasing his name. “He left the scene and he hadn’t reported it and we located him,” Botieri said. The man has not been arrested or charged.
James Ward was a freshman at Plymouth North High School. Through social media, his friends spread the word Monday to wear green to class, his favorite color. Students signed posters to give to his parents. “It is an understatement to call this a sad day but it’s all we can do is move forward and just think about the happy moments of James,” said friend James Cabral.
Principal Kathleen McSweeney’s staff started mobilizing Sunday night as soon as word of the accident spread. By Monday morning, counselors were ready to talk to upset teenagers and teachers. “When we support each other and we cherish memories we become stronger and life continues,” McSweeney added. “But lets be there for each other today.”
She says James Ward was a bright student with a great wit. She talked to his parents to let them know they have the support of his school. “Some of what we try to tell the kids is that it is better to have known him for at least 14 years than not to have known him at all,” she said. “He brought a lot to this school as a community and he’ll be missed.”
James Ward’s mother says he saved his own money to pay for half of his dirt bike. Her oldest son would’ve turned 15 next week. “He was just a terrific kid and uh, and we’re just so sorry for his loss,” said close friend Kenny Knight.