March 21, 2013

'I can't imagine': Grief after father runs over son

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

GREENE – People in this Androscoggin County town grieved Wednesday for a 6-year-old boy and his father, who police say accidentally ran over his son with a plow truck early in the day.

click image to enlarge

The home of Kevin Capponi and family where he accidentally backed over his son while plowing, causing his 6-year-old son Nathan's death on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Greene, Maine.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

State police spokesman Steve McCausland said Nathan Capponi was pronounced dead at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after being hit by his father's plow truck around 6:45 a.m.

McCausland said the boy's father, Kevin Capponi, 36, was finishing plowing snow from Tuesday's storm out of his driveway on Quaker Ridge Road and was backing up when the accident happened.

Police said Capponi did not see his son, who was playing in the driveway with his scooter.

A man who answered the phone at the Capponis' home Wednesday night said the family was not ready to speak about the tragedy.

At the Circle K convenience store and gas station on Route 202 in Greene, people expressed sorrow and disbelief.

Melissa Carmichael and Ben McGray, employees at the local gathering spot, said news of the accident spread quickly, as one customer after another talked about the pain that the boy's father must feel.

"I can't imagine what he's going through," Carmichael said.

"It must be horrible," said McGray, whose mother once baby-sat Kevin Capponi.

Capponi, who graduated from Lewiston High School in 1996, reacted with a message on his Facebook page, saying: "Please forgive me and my family. I love him with all my heart. It is now broken."

Quaker Ridge Road is a long and narrow country road that connects with Route 202 in Greene.

Homes are set far apart and back from the road. Many are surrounded by trees.

The Capponis' white split-level home and barn appear well-kept. The driveway is about 100 feet long.

Nicole Beachesne, a neighbor, said, "I'm not sure how I feel" about the accident. "I guess I am in shock, but I feel really bad for the parents."

Her 14-year-old daughter waited for the school bus at the same stop as Nathan Capponi, on Quaker Ridge Road. She said her daughter didn't know the young boy well but said he was a good kid.

Alex Tardif and Evan Tardif were walking along Quaker Ridge Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Alex Tardif, 10, said he is a friend of Nathan Capponi's sister and remembered Nathan as "being a pretty nice kid."

"I just feel horrible for the family," said Evan Tardif, a sixth-grader at Greene Central School.

Kim Spencer, assistant principal at Greene Central School, declined to comment Wednesday night, saying the school would issue a statement Thursday responding to the boy's death.

At the Circle K, Ryan Bachelder of Turner puffed on a cigarette while sitting in the front seat of his friend's truck. He had just learned that his high school classmate had run over his son.

Bachelder said he lost contact with Kevin Capponi after high school but hopes he will recover from his loss.

"Kevin was a good kid in high school. I feel bad for him and his family," he said.

Capponi's Facebook page was filled Wednesday night with words of comfort and prayers from friends and family members.

"There is no forgiveness needed Kevin," wrote Christopher Miller. "Your family is caring and wonderful to be with. We feel joy whenever your family enters the room. You both look into the best for each other and the kids. Forgiveness is not what you should ask for at this time."

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

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