Vigil held for boater found in Winsted

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WINSTED– One week later, a community gathered to mourn the loss of a young man who died in a tragic accident on Highland Lake last Sunday.

A vigil was held Sunday night for Benjerman Steen, 21, of Torrington at the very spot where he lost his life a week ago.

At 5:45 sharp Sunday evening— they came out to remember Ben Steen at the banks of Highland Lake.

5:45 p.m— marked the moment crews were called to to the lake last Sunday, the boat Steen was in had capsized.

“There are a lot of people that are still trying to wrap their head around what happened in the boat that day,” said Nicole Veretto of Torrington.

Friends say Ben Steen was out on the lake fishing with two of his buddies who worked construction together.

Steen was the only one to not make it back to shore when the boat turned over, despite a search lasting well into the night.

“We all feel like it’s a family member, part of the community, and that this loss just hits us all,” said Katherine Timmeney of Winsted.

On Sunday nightthey remembered the 20 year old from Torrington, and graduate of Torrington High School.

After lighting candle lights in his memory, others walked to the banks of the lake and threw glow sticks thrown into the lake to show his memory will never be forgotten.

“He was a little dare devil, but nothing too extreme. He knew his limits, he liked to have fun, he liked to live life to the fullest,” said Ryan Boudiller of Winsted.

The loss is one that runs deep in this small, close-knit part of Northwest Connecticut.

Nicole Veretto of Torrington never met Ben Steen, but organized tonight’s ceremony after learning Ben leaves behind a three year old son.

“I don’t why, but it gave me chills, it made me feel like I had to do something,” Veretto said.

Some who attended Sunday’s vigil were some of the very first responders called out on that fateful night.

Ryan Boudiller is a member of the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department who can still hardly believe he was called upon to rescue his close friend.

“I save people, I protect people. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, just wish there was more I could have done to bring him home alive that night,” Boudiller said.

A go-fund me page has been set-up to help raise money for Steen’s funeral costs. As of Sunday, 20 people have donated $860.

There will be a pasta dinner held at Redman’s Cafe in Winsted on November 22nd from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help raise money for the cost of Steen’s funeral.

Any leftover money will go into a savings bond to help with his son, according to fundraiser organizers.

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