EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 17, 2013

Methuen IT worker dies in New Hampshire crash

METHUEN — The birthday cards Bill Lasonde’s three grandchildren made sat in a neat stack last night, ready for him to read tomorrow, when he would have turned 63. But Lasonde will never read those cards.

The network administrator in the city’s IT Department died of injuries he received Friday night from a car crash in Portsmouth, N.H.

“He always looked forward to the cards the kids made. He loved them more than anything,” Diane Lasonde said of the special children’s artwork that her husband won’t get to enjoy anymore.

New Hampshire state police said Lasonde was driving north on Interstate 95 shortly before 10 p.m. when his 2006 Chevrolet HHR veered off the right side of the highway, hit a guardrail and rolled over several times before landing in the median strip between the roadway and the Exit 5 off ramp.

Lasonde was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. The crash remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, Lasonde’s death hit close to home — not just for family — but also for city employees at the Searles Building, where Lasonde has worked for the past 17 years. His wife Diane has also been a fixture in city government too. She’s been secretary to the Methuen City Council for 14 years.

Former Methuen Mayor William Manzi, who worked closely with Lasonde for more than six years, said Lasonde was well-liked.

“It’s obviously shocking,” Manzi said. “He was a real gentlemen, a good man, a hard worker. This is a terrible loss. You couldn’t ask for a finer person.”

As family members gathered at the kitchen table of Lasonde’s home last night, they told stories about the loving husband, father and grandfather whose main passion in life, second only to family, was baseball and umpiring.

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