Lawsuit filed in fatal Leverett crash


Staff Writer
Monday, March 01, 2021

NORTHAMPTON — A Belchertown woman injured in a motorcycle crash on Route 63 in Leverett that killed her life partner last April has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in Hampshire Superior Court this month by Karen Mercier, personal representative of the estate of Kevin Douville, and seeks unspecified punitive damages from Mary Christine Nelson of Leverett, who was driving the car that collided with the motorcycle.

The lawsuit alleges wrongful death, conscious pain and suffering, and gross negligence against Nelson, contending that her actions while driving in the opposite direction on the state highway last April 25 led to the crash.

“Nelson negligently attempted to take a left-hand turn into a driveway, directly into the path of the Douville motorcycle, causing a crash which resulted in the death of Kevin Douville,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also notes that Nelson, 79, has been charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Nelson is scheduled to be arraigned in Orange District Court on those charges on March 12, said Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Alan L. Cantor of Swartz & Swartz attorneys of Boston, representing Mercier, said Monday that he couldn’t yet comment on the lawsuit.

A call placed to a phone number listed for Nelson was not answered.

The crash on Route 63, also known as Long Plain Road and the primary north-south artery between Montague and Amherst, led to the road’s closure between Depot and Long Hill roads for about four hours as the crash was investigated and the scene was cleared.

Leverett Police, Sunderland Police, and the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, responded to and investigated the incident, with assistance from MSP Crime Scene Services and MSP Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section.

An obituary for Douville, 57, described him as an “authentic motorcyclist” and native of Ludlow who worked professionally as a plumber.