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Newport Student Killed

Police: Teen Struck In Charlestown

The first year at Newport Middle High School for twin sisters Kennedy and Anna Pysz was to be a special one. It would be the only year the seventh-graders would share a school building with their half brother Adam Pysz, a member of the Class of 2013.

Ellen Pysz, their grandmother, said the girls took advantage of having Adam nearby.

“(They would) meet him in the hall and give him big, embarrassing hugs,” she said. “He’d pretend he hated it, but he loved it.”

That special year ended in tragedy, however, when Adam Pysz, 17, was killed Friday night after he was struck by a passing motorist on Route 12 in Charlestown after Pysz and co-worker David Cummings got out of their van to move a deer carcass, according to New Hampshire State Police.

“I don’t know what I’ll do without him,” Ellen Pysz said yesterday, her voice breaking. “I don’t know. He’s my grandson, you know?”

Cummings, 32, who was also struck, was listed in fair condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center yesterday. He and Pysz had been in Charlestown working for Big Mike’s Cleaning Service, which is owned by Pysz’s stepfather, Mike Padova.

At about 7 p.m., Pysz and Cummings stopped their van in the northbound travel lane near Windy Acres Park subdivision to move the carcass, police said. The deer had been hit by another car. In a news release about the accident, police did not say who had been driving.

Benjamin Watkins, 24, of Springfield, Vt., was driving northbound when he came across the stopped van. He swerved his Ford Ranger to avoid colliding with the van, and struck Pysz and Cummings, police said.

Watkins was not listed among the injured in the police news release. Speed and alcohol were not factors in the crash, police said. The investigation is ongoing.

In a phone interview yesterday, Suzi Pysz, who has known Adam since he was 3 years old, remembered her stepson as a family-first nature lover who spent his extracurricular time hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

He had been working at Big Mike’s Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Newport for a couple of months, she said, and was heading home for the day at the time of accident.

Pysz and Cummings were taken to Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, where Pysz died of his injuries, police said. Cummings, 32, was later taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he was listed as in “fair” condition yesterday, DHMC spokesman Rick Adams said.

State Police and its Technical Accident Reconstruction Unit, Charlestown’s police and fire departments, and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation assisted at the scene, police said.

Linda Sutton, Newport Middle and High School’s principal, said Pysz had deep ties to the community and was an active member of the senior class. She said he spent two years learning to weld in the school’s career and technical education program.

Sutton said Pysz was well-behaved and quiet.

“I don’t know him well because he never got in trouble,” she said.

Sutton said the school will offer extra guidance and counseling services to students and staff starting tomorrow, which is Anna and Kennedy’s 13th birthday.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.


This story has been amended to correct an ealier error. The following correction ran in the Tuesday, Nov. 20 edition of the Valley News:

Adam Pysz, the Newport student killed when a pickup truck struck him Saturday night, lived with Lorraine and Michael Padova, his mother and stepfather. A story in the Sunday Valley News misidentified with whom he lived.