EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 25, 2012

Haverhill teen killed, brother hurt in accident

HAVERHILL — A 15-year-old Haverhill High School student was in satisfactory condition at a Maine hospital yesterday after a car driven by his 17-year-old brother slammed into a tree at a high rate of speed late Friday, killing his brother, police and hospital officials said.

Austin Bonnell, a freshman at Haverhill High School, broke both legs and suffered a concussion in the single-car accident at 11 p.m. Friday in Naples, Maine, about 25 miles north of Portland, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

He was partially ejected from the car but had to be extricated. He was flown to the Maine Medical Center in Portland by a Life-Flight helicopter.

His brother, Joshua Bonnell, also a student at Haverhill High School, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Austin Bonnell was wearing a seat belt, police said. His brother was not.

Police believe speed, but not alcohol, was a factor in the crash.

“He was just a good kid,” Haverhill High student Chris Sialatis said of Joshua Bonnell.

Joshua Bonnell was active in student theater at Haverhill High and also was an outdoor enthusiast. His Facebook page features a squirrel sitting on his shoulder and also includes photos of Bonnell splitting wood, paddling a kayak and riding ATVs and snowmobiles through the Maine woods.

His parents are Gary and Susan Bonnell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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