September 06. 2018 11:35PM

Parents eye legal action in wake of summer camp van crash in Greenland

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent


This camp van crash injured several children and adults in Greenland. (New Hampshire State Police)

GREENLAND — The families of at least two of the children injured when a summer camp van crashed into a tree on Interstate 95 in Greenland are considering lawsuits as medical bills mount.

Lawyers have notified the town of Kittery, Maine, of plans to sue following the crash on Aug. 10 involving 11 children from the Kittery Community Center SAFE Camp to Candia Springs Adventure Park in Candia.

Ilia Petrushov is one of the parents who has retained a lawyer after her son suffered a head injury and sprained an ankle. According to paperwork advising the town of Kittery of the litigation, Petrushov claims that her son’s medical bills have reached $100,000 and that additional bills are expected.

A lawyer for a second mother, Melissa A. Smart, also informed the town of plans to take action for personal injuries her child suffered “as a result of negligence,” according to paperwork.

New Hampshire State Police are still investigating the crash that occurred when the van’s driver, camp counselor John E. Guy, was traveling southbound on I-95 in Kittery’s town-owned 2010 GMC Savana transport van when it went off the highway and struck a large tree.

State police have said they believe Guy, 21, of Kittery, suffered a medical problem at the time, but have not been more specific.

Guy has declined to comment on the crash.

In a letter he wrote to a judge in York, Maine, District Court in December 2016, Guy explained that he was diagnosed with epilepsy and that he has had grand mal seizures. The letter was written after he missed a court date on charges of driving to endanger and operating after his license was suspended related to a 2016 case. Guy pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year.

Guy also informed the court recently that he had begun attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the wake of the crash and revelations about Guy’s prior driving record, Kittery launched an internal investigation into its hiring practices and process for conducting background checks. The investigation showed Guy’s driving record was not checked before the crash.

rockinghamnews@unionleader.com