Friends at Daniel Webster College say crash victim Sebastian Abt, of Brookline, was smart, generous, fun to be around

NASHUA – Corey Goupil was at work Thursday, Nov. 14, when he heard a few people talking about a bad car accident.

He asked a few questions, but didn’t think too much about it.

He read a story about the accident online, and even though it didn’t include many details or any names, “It wasn’t a good feeling,” he said.

When his friend’s mother, her voice shaking, left him a message later that day asking him to call her, he knew the worst had happened.

Goupil joined four other close friends of Sebastian Abt, 21, a Brookline resident and Hollis Brookline High School graduate, on Friday, Nov. 15, to talk about their friend, who was killed in a car accident the morning of Nov. 14 on Proctor Hill Road in Hollis.

Abt was studying computer engineering at Daniel Webster College and had just started working at Best Buy in Nashua, while also working at the college’s help desk.

His friends called him a “computer genius,” and said he already had a job at IBM lined up for after graduation, which was more than a year away.

“He helped me so much,” said DWC student Daniel Noyes, 21. “He never stopped trying another way until I got it.”

A group of Abt’s friends got together Nov. 14 to share stories and laughs about their friend.

Mike Murray, 22, said he couldn’t help but play “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band a few times. He hates the song, so Abt would make sure to play it on the jukebox whenever the friends went out.

“Damn it if that wasn’t the first thing I wanted to hear,” Murray said.

Abt was driving his 2011 Chevrolet Cruze in Hollis when it collided with a Freightliner box truck around 7:45 a.m. near Diamond Casting and Machine Co., police said.

Police and firefighters were on the scene of the busy east-west route for several hours Nov. 14 and kept the road closed through rush hour.

Abt’s former boss Matthew Bernard, the owner of Brinestone, which sells Apple products on Amherst Street, remembered Abt as a smart kid with lots of ambition.

“He had a lot of ideas on how things could work better and what he thought of current technology,” Bernard said. “He was just a really techy kid. It was his hobby, as well as his chosen field.

“It really is a tragedy to see a young person like himself’s life cut so short.”

Abt’s friends described him as uncommonly generous. Murray said he owed Abt $6 because he was broke one day and Abt insisted on emptying his wallet to help him out.

James Cabral, 21, said Abt took him in after knowing him for just two weeks when the college didn’t have room in the dorms for him. Earlier this school year, he helped Cabral look for jobs and sources of financial aid so he could continue studying at DWC.

Cabral remembered fondly a camping weekend that Abt, Cabral and other friends spent near Canterbury this summer.

“This was one of the best summers of my life,” he said.

Jeremy Callahan, 21, who, like Goupil, had known Abt since high school, remembered hiking up the hill at the Andres Institute of Art in the middle of the night with Abt, just because he couldn’t get to sleep.

“He was just a beautiful kid,” Callahan said. “He was our brother.”

While police are trying to piece together what caused the accident, his friends are holding on to memories like those.

“I just hate the fact that I can’t make any good (memories) with him now,” Noyes said.

“I just really wish I had more time to spend with him.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached
at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua