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Fundraiser started for seriously injured Stonington High student

Stonington — A GoFundMe page has been set up for a Stonington High School student and football player who was seriously in an accident Saturday night.

Ben French was injured at his home at 495 North Stonington Road. Old Mystic Fire Chief Ken Richards said his department as well as Mystic River Ambulance, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital paramedics and police responded to a call about 10:30 p.m. reporting a 15-year-old boy was seriously injured in a dirt bike accident.

Details of the incident were not clear.

The teen was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital.

On Tuesday, football coach A.J. Massengale started a GoFundMe page, at bit.ly/benfrenchgfm, for French and his family and by 6 p.m., it had raised $18,420 from 272 donors.

“As of this posting, Ben is still not out of the woods and faces many critical surgeries in the days to come,” Massengale wrote.

He added that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, French’s parents, Bill and Lori, and his twin brother cannot be by his side in the hospital.

“Anyone who (knows) the French family instantly recognizes how proud and hardworking they are. You also know that they are the first to drop everything and assist whenever anyone needs help. They would never expect anything from anyone. However, all we can do to help the French family is to do all we can to make it easier for them to focus on what is most important at this time. Ben and the French family need us to rally around them and support them just as they would do for us. Please keep Ben and the French family in your prayers and thank you for your support,” Massengale wrote.

On Tuesday, Massengale said French earned varsity letters in both football and indoor track as a freshman and would have played lacrosse if the season had not been canceled. Massengale said he has coached French in youth lacrosse for years.

"He's great kid, a hard worker, incredibly conscientious and the most polite kid you'd ever meet," he said.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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