EAST WAKEFIELD — Family members say a Massachusetts man injured in a snowmobile accident In East Wakefield on New Year’s Day has died from his injuries, just days after proposing to his longtime girlfriend at a family vacation home.
According to an online obituary submitted by his sister, James Nicholas Leavitt, 26, of Tewksbury, Mass., died at 5:14 p.m. on Jan. 3 at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, Mass., succumbing to injuries suffered in a snowmobile accident New Year’s Day at a family vacation home on Balch Lake.
“We held his hand the entire time and never let go,” wrote his sister, Shauna Leavitt, in an online obituary. “We talked him through it and he peacefully went to meet his father, James G. Leavitt, who passed 6 years ago.”
Conservation officers said around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, Wakefield Police and Fire/Rescue personnel responded to a snowmobile accident on the south side of Balch Lake, near the Au Bord du Lac boat launch in Wise Cove.
According to Lt. Brad Morse of New Hampshire Fish and Game, a snowmobile operated by Leavitt and Molly Boen, 25, of Stoughton, Mass., crashed, throwing both from the machine. Leavitt and Boen, found unconscious, were taken to Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Leavitt was transferred to Beth Israel Medical Center and Boen was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both in Boston, Mass. Neither was wearing a helmet, and according to Morse alcohol, speed and poor weather conditions appear to have been contributing factors in the crash.
Family members said just two days before, Leavitt had become engaged to longtime girlfriend Amanda Butler, proposing on the ice at Balch Lake surrounded by friends and family.
According to the obituary, Leavitt was a service manager at the East Coast Flightcraft boat dealership in Middleton, Mass.
The company released the following statement on its Facebook page.
“Today Heaven got another Angel. We were all blessed to have had James come into our lives many years ago. He brought us joy and laughter, that only he could. He was the guy always happy, always welcoming, always making you feel included. He was such a BIG part of our Work Family and our Home Family. You will always be in our hearts and minds.. You will be missed so much.”
According to family members, Leavitt was a registered organ donor and his kidneys, liver and tissue were donated to several recipients.
“James Leavitt was a brother, a son, a fiancé, a nephew, an uncle, a best friend and a cherished co-worker. But more than that, he was an incredible, selfless and forgiving human being,” wrote Shauna Leavitt in her brother’s obituary. “He lived every single day of his short life, making others laugh and enjoy themselves whenever possible. He hugged you with all of his might, poked fun at you and teased you, and never let anyone feel alone or forgotten. He loved as much as humanly possible and every single person he met, felt that love.”
Details on Boen’s condition have not been released.