Published February 12. 2014 4:00AM Updated February 12. 2014 11:15PM
Colchester - A 22-year-old Uncasville man with a love for trucks and whose friends said was "a big kid at heart" died early Tuesday after his pickup truck struck and severed a utility pole off Route 354 in Colchester.
Charles Malloy of 150 Gay Hill Road was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:37 a.m. crash. State police said Malloy's truck had traveled off the right side of the road in the area of Maclyn Drive, collided with a utility pole and rolled onto its roof. Power lines were strewn across the road in the wake of the crash, which closed down the roadway for much of the day.
Malloy was a graduate of Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School in Groton and pursued diesel mechanic training at Lincoln Technical Institute. He was working full-time at Bourdeau Pheasant Farm in Salem, where members of the Bourdeau family said he had worked off and on since he was 8.
"He was very special to this family," said Diane Bourdeau. "He came and started working summers on the farm. He's been with us a long time and always been helpful to me and my in-laws, who are in their 80s. He was always there when you needed him … a good kid with a big heart."
Malloy also worked for a time with Diane Bourdeau's son, Stephen Bourdeau, who is the former owner of Northeast Diesel in Plainfield.
Stephen Bourdeau, 35, said Malloy "was a big kid at heart who would do anything for his friends and family, or even perfect strangers."
"I watched him grow up. He loved the farm. That's what he loved doing, being outside and working on the farm," Stephen Bourdeau said.
State Rep. Ernest Hewett, D-New London, heard about the crash from his son, Fredrick, who is the same age and became friends with Malloy in third grade at the former St. Mary Star of the Sea Church School in New London. They had remained friends.
"It's a real tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Malloy family," Hewett said.
- Greg Smith