NORTHAMPTON – A Belchertown woman who was injured in a 2020 motorcycle crash in Leverett that killed her partner has filed a civil suit against the elderly driver of the car that struck them, seeking $5 million in damages.
The suit was filed last week in Hampshire Superior Court by Karen Mercier, who is identified as a representative of the estate of Kevin Douville. It names Mary Christine Nelson of Leverett as the defendant.
Douville, 57, of Belchertown, was killed April 26 in a crash on Long Plain Road in Leverett. Mercier, who had been Douville’s partner for 32 year, was seriously injured in the crash.
According to police reports at the time, Nelson, 79, was attempting to turn into a driveway on Long Plain Road and Douville’s motorcycle struck the car.
Nelson has since been charged with motor vehicle homicide. She is due to be arraigned on the charge in Orange District Court next month, said Mary Carey, communications director for Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan.
The suit charges Nelson with operating her vehicle in a “careless, negligent, and reckless” manner, leading to the death of Douville and injuries to Mercier. It alleges Nelson was “grossly negligent” by making a left turn into the driveway, cutting across the path of the motorcycle.
The suit seeks punitive damages and other costs for the death of Douville and for pain and injuries to Mercier. The text of the suit does not specify an amount, but the cover sheet attached to the suit lists the amount as $5 million.
Douville, according to his obituary, was a Ludlow native, a self-employed plumber, and a life-long motorcycle enthusiast.
Nelson could not be reached for comment.