EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 16, 2013

Atkinson man sentenced for DWI crash

By Doug Ireland

---- — BRENTWOOD — An Atkinson man will serve two to four years in state prison for a drunken-driving crash that seriously injured him and a passenger.

Jeffrey Legendre, 48, pleaded guilty to aggravated DWI on Wednesday in Rockingham Superior Court. A second aggravated DWI charge was not prosecuted as part of a plea agreement.

If convicted at trial, Legendre faced three and a half to seven years in prison on each charge.

Judge Kenneth McHugh ordered that Legendre’s driver’s license be revoked for two years following his release from prison.

He also was ordered to receive drug and alcohol treatment and counseling, and fined $1,240.

Legendre and his passenger, Cheryl Costin, 45, of Hampstead, were flown by medical helicopter to Boston hospitals following the single-vehicle crash on Route 11 in Hampstead on Dec. 20, 2011.

The westbound Mazda3 sedan Legendre was driving suddenly crossed into the eastbound lane and slammed into a tree near the Route 121 intersection about 11:40 p.m., police said.

Legendre was taken by ambulance to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, then flown to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to Hampstead police Lt. John Frazier.

Costin, who suffered a spinal injury, was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital and required surgery.

Legendre was not required to pay restitution to Costin for her medical expenses because she received more than $2 million in a civil lawsuit against him, according to court documents.

Frazier said at the time of the accident that police smelled alcohol on Legendre’s breath.

Frazier, who was not able to attend the sentencing, said yesterday the officers who responded to the crash were satisfied Legendre was punished for his crime.

“Although he has now been held criminally responsible for his actions and sentenced, there is still a victim passenger whose life and family have been forever altered,” Frazier said. “I don’t know what sentence will ever provide justice for that.”

Legendre’s attorney, Eric Wilson, declined to comment on the sentence.