By Lisa Redmond
and Rick Sobey
PEPPERELL -- A 20-year-old New Hampshire man who was back home for a few weeks before the fall semester is dead after a car crash early Friday morning in which his best friend was allegedly drunk behind the wheel.
Kendall Van Schoick, who graduated in 2011 from Hollis Brookline High School, was declared dead at the scene on Heald Street near Bayberry Street. Van Schoick, of Brookline, N.H., was in the automotive technology school at the University of Northwestern Ohio, in Lima, Ohio. He was a tire technician at Nashua's Town Fair Tire from 2011 to 2012, as well as an instructor at Crotched Mountain ski resort in Bennington, N.H.
Kris Jacques, who attended college with Van Schoick, took a road trip with Van Schoick from Ohio to New Hampshire in early August. Jacques said his close friend was planning to head back to Ohio this weekend.
"You couldn't find a happier person," Jacques said. "Just full of life. He's just really going to be missed."
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, posts bail, Judge Michael Brooks ordered that he not drive, not drink alcohol, submit to random alcohol testing and sign a waiver of rendition.
Riendeau was listed as a "brother" to Van Schoick on Facebook, and they attended high school and college together. Riendeau's Facebook profile picture was updated at 5 p.m. on Friday, changing to a picture of Riendeau and Van Schoick together at the ski slopes. Many Facebook friends commented on the photo, with one writing, "I'll always be here if you need to talk, you & Kendall were brothers to me. Miss you guys."
Prosecutor Laura Miller said 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 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 the pole.
Riendeau admitted to drinking three Bud Light beers that night. He blew a .081 on a portable Breathalyzer test, which is just above 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.