Orange head-on crash victim has died, family says

  • RISATTI

Staff Writer
Published: 1/15/2020 10:37:01 PM
Modified: 1/15/2020 10:36:10 PM

ORANGE — One of the three people injured in a Dec. 30 head-on collision in Orange has died, his family says.

Jeffrey L. Risatti, 58, of Orange, died Monday at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester from injuries sustained in the accident.

According to his father, Don Risatti, Jeffrey Risatti had suffered from multiple broken bones in his arms, hips and legs during the accident, as well as “extreme impact trauma to the chest,” which damaged the man’s lungs and other organs.

On Dec. 30, Jeffrey Risatti was driving in a Jeep on East Main Street in Orange with two of his step-children, Charlie Houle, of Arnold, Mo., and Jessica Temple, of Averill Park, N.Y., around 2 p.m. when the vehicle was struck head-on by a westbound Toyota.

According to police, the driver of the Toyota was George W. Patnode, 69, of Orange, who was not injured. Snowy conditions caused Patnode to lose control of his vehicle, drifting and colliding with the Jeep, police explained. Patnode was issued a written warning for a marked lanes violation.

Jeffrey Risatti, Houle and Temple were all transported to the hospital in Worcester, where Jeffrey Risatti underwent immediate surgery on one of his arms.

According to Don Risatti, his son had been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer around Christmastime. This complicated the prospect of surgeries to his torso after the accident. The combined cancer and accident-related injuries led doctors to believe Jeffrey Risatti’s heart would not be able to withstand a major surgery, Don Risatti said.

“Things never got into the position where they thought he could go through the surgeries that were necessary,” Don Risatti said.

Houle and Temple, who are both adults and were visiting family in the area for the holidays, are recovering from their injuries. Houle has returned to Missouri to continue treatment; Temple has left the hospital but has “serious” rehabilitation ahead, Don Risatti said.

According to Don Risatti, his son loved to spend time outside. He had worked at the N.D. Cass Company, J.F. McElwain’s and at Country Convenience Store with his father, but did not recently work due to disability.

“He enjoyed fishing, games on TV and being outdoors. He was pretty much an outdoors person,” Don Risatti said.

Jeffrey Risatti is also remembered as a “computer wiz” and video game fan who enjoyed spontaneous trips. His funeral will be held at a later date in April, yet to be announced.

Jeffrey Risatti is survived by his wife of more than 23 years, Janet Houle, six step-children and many step-grandchildren; his father Don Risatti and his wife, Joy, of Orange; his mother, Bonita Culjan, and her husband, Robert, of Oglesvy, Ill.; his siblings, Peggy Baker, of Culpeper, Va., Kevin Risatti, of Buda, Ill., Sean Risatti, of Ft. Collins, Colo., and Bobbie Jean Egbert of Oglesvy, Ill.; step-siblings Donny Lincoln, of Athol, Julie Wheeler, of Erving, and Jessica Matthews, of Athol; as well as extended family and friends.

According to Don Risatti, his son’s immediate family is now struggling not only with the loss, but with the destruction of the family vehicle. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to assist the family to Janet Holden, care of Hometown Bank, 90 Exchange St., Athol, MA 01331.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.




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