Mother Mourns Son Killed In Lunenburg Crash

LUNENBURG (CBS) — Carol Robbins visited the crash site where her son was killed in an alleged drunk driving crash over the weekend.

“It’s a horrible place to be reminded where my son took his last breathe,” Robbins said.

Prosecutors say Joseph Kapp, 19, of Gardner, was driving drunk when he crashed his car into several trees on Hollis Road in Lunenburg early Saturday morning.

Joseph Kapp, charged with motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of alcohol. (WBZ-TV)

Joseph Kapp, charged with motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of alcohol, in court Monday. (WBZ-TV)

One of his passengers, 18-year-old Austin Robbins, a former star football player at Lunenburg High, died.  A second passenger, Sean McNiff, 19, of Lunenburg, was hurt.

Kapp pleaded not guilty to several charges Monday at his arraignment in Fitchburg District Court, including motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence of alcohol. Several friends and his family came to court to show their support for Kapp.

Friends of Austin Robbins gathered at a makeshift memorial Sunday at the scene where he was killed. (Photo by Kim Tunnicliffe - WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Friends of Austin Robbins gathered at a makeshift memorial Sunday at the scene where he was killed. (Photo by Kim Tunnicliffe – WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

He was held on $10,000 bail over the weekend.  Prosecutors asked the judge to keep that amount in place, but it was reduced to $2,500 due to the fact that Kapp has no criminal history.  His parents posted the bail.

Prosecutors said in court Monday that Kapp admitted to speeding after having four-to-five drinks at a party at Fitchburg State.  After he was arrested, he allegedly told police “my fake I-D has never failed me.”  His blood alcohol level was 1.5 times the legal limit, according to investigators.

Austin Robbins had just graduated from Lunenberg High School in May.

Classmates and friends turned the site into a memorial for Austin.

“The kids put a lot of effort into this,” Austin’s mother Carol said.

Carol Robbins said she can only hope that teens forever affected by this tragedy will take the lesson to heart.

“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare, when you’re a parent your kids are out and about driving in cars, you lay awake thinking about if I ever got that knock on the door, and I actually got that knock on the door,” she said.  “And again, why Austin, why Austin? It’s a terrible loss.”


Austin Robbins. (Yearbook Photo)

Austin Robbins. (Yearbook Photo)

Kapp played football and baseball at Lunenburg High before becoming a student at B.U.

His attorney said Kapp is distraught over losing his best friend. Kapp is due back in court September 29.



One Comment

  1. feel sorry for the responders who had to clean up the mess that this kid caused. fake id never failed him…does not sound remorseful

    1. Kate says:

      Well said TC. As a former first responder, and someone with 40 yrs. experience in health care (including ERs), rolling up on the scene of carnage like this, with death and injury, some things you just never forget. The arrogance of the criminals responsible for the trauma, especially “my fake ID has never failed me ..” makes my blood boil. They are usually the ones in the ER crying like babies begging for something for pain, while the trauma teams are doing CPR, starting IVs, etc. My Dad was a police officer for over 30 years, and we heard about the accidents he responded to. I shake my head when judges such as the one today, don’t consider the damage done, but say there was no prior criminal record, and his academic status and slash bail to $2,500. Come ride with an ambulance crew your honor, or spend a few shifts in an ER, glove up, and then think twice about discounting bail.

  2. Kate says:

    “My fake ID has never failed me ….” aren’t you an arrogant piece of work. Shame on the judge to agreeing to reduced bail. I laughed so hard I cried after reading the defendant’s attorney’s comment that his client it distraught over losing his best friend. 19 and you had 4-5 drinks, then proceeded to drive. Hey genius, criminal charges aren’t the only court appearance in your future. Hope your attorney, once you get over being distraught, explains that the estate of the friend that you killed, and the other victim can file civil complaints. I hope many doors are shut in your face. Spare me any jive that this was “an accident.” You should never again be allowed the privilege of a driver’s license after serving prison time. Don’t worry little man, jurisdiction precludes my being part of a pool of potential jurors. Note to DA’s: DO NOT put forward any plea bargaining. I hope Joseph is haunted every day of the rest of his life by what he has done. As someone who has been a first responder, and worked in ERs, I have treated on scene and at the hospital the victims of too many “Joseph Kapps.” Blood alcohol of 1.5 times the legal limit, don’t have the unmitigated gall to try to attend the wake and funeral for Austin, or send a get well card to Sean.

  3. Ed says:

    You are a fool Kate for saying things you have no idea about! You think because you read it in a news report that therefore it must be true? I feel so sorry for people like you who have NO empathy for someone like Joey, who of course will be haunted by this for the rest of his life. I am sure he WILL attend the funeral and wake and i am also sure he will be welcomed and supported there but the lunenburg community who realizes this is a tragedy for ALL of those involved.

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