By Lisa Redmond
AYER -- A 19-year-old New Hampshire man is charged with motor-vehicle homicide, accused of driving drunk and speeding, triggering an early-morning accident on Friday in Pepperell that killed his best friend.
In Ayer District Court on Friday, David C. Riendeau, of 1 Proctor Hill Road, Brookline, N.H., was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to motor-vehicle homicide -- operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor-vehicle, operating under the influence, marked lanes violation and speeding.
If Riendeau, who has no record, should post bail, Judge Michael Brooks ordered that he not drive, not drink alcohol, submit to random alcohol testing and sign a waiver of rendition.
Prosecutor Laura Miller explained that at 2:45 a.m. Friday, Pepperell police responded to a single-car crash on Heald Street near Bayberry Street where they found skid marks and a car wedged between a hill and a utility pole. Three people -- Riendeau and two friends who were in the car behind Riendeau -- told police they needed help getting their friend, Kendall Van Schoick, out of the car.
But when emergency personnel checked, Van Schoick was unresponsive and not breathing. He was later declared dead at the scene, Miller said.
Riendeau allegedly told police he was going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone when he lost control of the car at a curb, locked his brakes, crossed the street and hit a pole.
Riendeau admitted to drinking three Bud Light beers that night. He blew a .081 on a portable Breathalyzer test, which is just at the legal limit of .08. He passed some field sobriety tests and failed others.
Defense attorney James Rice asked for a lower bail, noting that Riendeau's best friend was killed that day.
Riendeau's next court date is Aug. 22 for a pretrial conference.
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