By Chris Camire


TOWNSEND -- A 79-year-old former member of the Townsend Fire Department who is being called "an icon of the community" was killed in an ATV accident Sunday night.

Roy D. Shepherd, 79, was found by his son Gary lying underneath a four-wheel ATV shortly before 8:40 p.m. Townsend police and emergency crews were dispatched to the 218 Lunenburg Rd. address where the accident took place.

Upon arrival, Officer James Landi found that CPR was being performed on Shepherd. Shepherd was transported to HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster where he was pronounced dead just before 9:30 p.m.

In a statement, Police Chief Erving Marshall called Shepherd's death "a tragic loss for the community.


Shepherd had been a member of the Townsend Fire Department and the head of the Ambulance Department. He was also the owner of Shepherd Sales and Service, which he retired from several years ago.

"He was an icon of the community which he served with devotion," said Marshall. "He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the Townsend Police with assistance from the Massachusetts Environmental Police.