EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 13, 2013

Plaistow family sues crash victim's estate

By Doug Ireland

---- — BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow couple is suing the estate of a Sandown teenager for causing a crash in which they and their two young sons were injured.

The lawsuit, recently filed in Rockingham Superior Court, accuses David Augusta III, 17, of negligence after the Jeep Cherokee he was driving collided with a Chrysler minivan driven by Susan LeBlanc, 41, in Hampstead on Aug. 18, 2012.

Augusta, a Timberlane Regional High School student, died four days after the accident at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the son of longtime Lawrence police Detective David Augusta Jr.

LeBlanc, her husband John LeBlanc, 41, and their attorney, Robert Mazow of Salem, Mass., say Augusta was driving carelessly and too fast when the Jeep Cherokee crossed the center line on Route 111 and struck their minivan near the intersection of Hazel Drive.

The couple and their sons, Evan, 8, and Ryan, 5, were hurt in the crash. Each suffered “serious permanent injuries” in the crash, the lawsuit said.

Susan LeBlanc suffered the most serious injuries of the four and was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital. John LeBlanc and the two boys were treated for lesser injuries.

The LeBlancs and Mazow, who could not be reached yesterday for comment, are seeking reimbursement of medical and legal costs. The amounts were not detailed in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also names attorney Edwinna Vanderzanden, appointed by the Probate Court as the administrator of Augusta’s estate.

Vanderzanden said yesterday she was not at liberty to discuss the lawsuit and that an attorney for Augusta had not been appointed by his family’s insurance carrier.

Augusta, one of four children and a popular Timberlane student known for his sense of humor, was getting ready to begin his senior year at the time of his death.

Shortly before the accident, Augusta had gone to the Lawrence police station to see his father because it was his 45th birthday, according to Lawrence police Chief John Romero. David Augusta Jr. could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Augusta wanted to be a police officer just like his father, according to Timberlane Principal Don Woodworth.

“He wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps,” Woodworth said.