Vigil held for North Smithfield soldier killed in training accident

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@cleshnerabc6

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) — Hundreds gathered in North Smithfield Sunday to remember the 20 year old soldier who died last week. Army Specialist Matthew Turcotte was killed in a training accident in Colorado last Wednesday. Family and friends held a candle light vigil at the North Smithfield football field to reflect on some of their happier memories.

As hundreds of green and yellow balloons float into the sky above North Smithfield High School, friends and family of Matthew Turcotte think of their favorite memories with him.

"Before he put me on the plane he gave me this little speech and he said I’m going to give this medallion to you and I’m going to keep you safe," remembers a friend.

"He always found a way to get behind him and make us all laugh and that’s something you don’t forget," says a teammate on the football team.

Turcotte was accidentally shot and killed during a gunfire exercise at the Fort Carson army base in Colorado last week. A 2015 graduate of North Smithfield High and a dedicated player on the school’s football team, loved ones chose to honor him with a candle light vigil on the field.

"He was a great kid. Matt, he was a soldier but he really had a really sweet and sensitive heart and in his own military group, here at school, among his friends, people really looked up to him, he was really respected," says his aunt, Donna Caccia.

Turcotte joined the Army right after graduation. In 2 years of service he earned several honors including an overseas ribbon and NATO medal.

His wife of 8 months Megan asks friends and family to look back on their memories with a smile.

"This is a hard time but lets celebrate Matt, I think that’s what he would want most of all, for all of us to be happy and to come together," she says.

Most of the people at the vigil wore superhero shirts, family members telling ABC6, Turcotte was a huge Batman and Deadpool fan.

(C) WLNE/ABC6 2017