Leverett motorist gets probation, 15-year-suspension in Belchertown motorcyclist’s death

  • A judge's gavel rests on a book of law. (Dreamstime/TNS) Dreamstime

Friday, December 09, 2022

ORANGE — A Leverett woman is being placed on two years’ probation and will lose her license after a jury on Thursday convicted her on a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation in the death of Belchertown resident Kevin Douville in April 2020.

Mary Christine Nelson, 81, was sentenced by Orange District Court Judge David Ross to probation and had her license suspended for 15 years.

Douville, 57, was critically injured when Nelson crossed into the motorcyclist’s path when making a left-hand turn into a driveway on Long Plain Road, also known as Route 63, in Leverett on April 25, 2020.

Douville, who was riding with life partner Karen Rae Mercier, was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day. Nelson immediately lost her license pending the outcome of the investigation.

Mercier filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Nelson last year in Hampshire Superior Court, seeking unspecified punitive damages.

The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Joseph Webber in a trial that lasted two days and brought six witnesses to the witness stand. Nelson was represented by Greenfield defense attorney Jeffrey Brown.

The jury deliberated for about an hour before returning the guilty verdict.

“The commonwealth is thankful that this verdict brings a measure of justice and closure for the Douville family,” Webber said.