Reporting Jim Armstrong
HAVERHILL (CBS) – He is trying to move on, but if Bill Lapierre chose to be angry about what happened to him, no one could fault him.
A drunk driver killed his wife of 37 years the Sunday morning before Christmas as she loaded up the family car with donuts for a church gathering. The accident happened in front of a Haverhill donut shop.
“I can’t waste my time on hating people, life is too short. I don’t want to do that,” he explains. “Nobody wants to hurt anybody, nobody does that on purpose.”
The driver who took his wife’s life is 37-year-old Lisa Leavitt, also of Haverhill. Investigators say she plowed into Karen Lapierre without even hitting the brakes. Her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
This week, she pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide charges and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison — but only after Bill read a victim impact statement in open court.
That’s when he told Leavitt he forgives her.
“I consider myself a Christian and if I want to be a Christian then number one, I have to forgive,” Lapierre says. “This didn’t only hurt my family this hurt Lisa’s family, and from meeting them in court, they’re very nice people.”
Indeed, Lapierre spoke with members of Leavitt’s family — and even hugged her mother.
“And I told them, it’s a tragedy for both families. I know they were hurting as much as I was,” he says.