Father of dead West Paris teen sues driver, three others in fatal crash

Posted March 26, 2013, at 12:36 p.m.
Kristina Lowe
Kristina Lowe
Rebecca Mason
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Rebecca Mason

PARIS, Maine — The father of a teen killed in a single-car crash in 2012 has filed a civil suit against the driver in that crash, Kristina Lowe, as well as three other people the suit alleges either furnished alcohol to Lowe or allowed Lowe, who was 18 at the time of the crash, to consume alcohol before driving.

The suit, filed Monday in Oxford County Superior Court, was filed by Jerrold Mason, the father of 16-year-old Rebecca Mason of West Paris, who died in the Jan. 7, 2012, crash that also killed Logan Dam, a 19-year-old also from West Paris.

The defendants are Lowe, Jacob S. Skaff, who was riding in the car when it crashed, Donovan G. Dow and Jesiah E. Sande. The suit accuses Skaff and Dow of providing alcohol to Lowe, knowing she was under 21, and Sande of allowing Lowe to drink at his home.

The civil suit alleges “negligence and recklessness” on the part of the four accused resulted in wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering for Mason. The suit says Mason experienced “a period of conscious pain and suffering” before she died.

Lowe faces two counts of manslaughter, two counts of aggravated criminal operating under the influence and one count of leaving the scene. Neither Skaff, Dow or Sande have been indicted on the charges alleged in the suit.

In December, a judge agreed to suppress testimony Lowe made after the crash before she underwent surgery. In his decision, he found the evidence inadmissible because Lowe hadn’t been read her Miranda rights before speaking with a Maine State Trooper. The judge disagreed with her attorney, James Howaniec, that the medication and the situation had made her unable to answer questions.

Howaniec has alleged that Lowe wasn’t drunk or texting at the time of the crash, as police have alleged, but hit a patch of ice while driving at a speed below the threshold for criminal speeding.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor has appealed the decision, arguing that Lowe’s testimony was admissible.

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