Driver in NH crash that killed honeymooning bride faces 14 indictments

Posted Nov. 20, 2013, at 6:19 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 20, 2013, at 4:01 p.m.

ROLLINSFORD, N.H. — The man charged with the vehicular manslaughter of newlywed Leah Fonda Preiss in July is facing 14 indictments in Strafford County Superior Court.

Matthew Tsopas, 44, of Dover has been handed several indictments for his involvement in the crash that led to the death of the out-of-state honeymooner on July 20 at the intersection of Portland Avenue and Old Mill Lane.

The first indictment states that Tsopas “did commit the crime of manslaughter, in that he did recklessly cause the death of another, Leah Preiss by driving an Infiniti automobile on Route 4, [at 55 mph on an] undivided highway, in the wrong lane of travel, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, controlled drug, prescription drug or any combination thereof, causing a collision with a Kia Spectra being operated by Brian Preiss in which Leah Fonda Preiss was a passenger.”

The manslaughter offense is listed as a special felony with a 30-year penalty.

Tsopas also was indicted on three counts of the Class B felony of aggravated driving while intoxicated which led to serious bodily injury of Brian Preiss in the crash, including fractures to his skull, a subdural hematoma and a fractured wrist. Each count carries a 3½- to seven-year penalty.

There is also an indictment for a Class B reckless conduct felony carrying another 3½- to seven-year penalty for swerving frequently into the oncoming lane of travel on Roberts Road preceding the crash.

Also separate from and before the actual collision, Tsopas received three indictments on the Class A misdemeanor charge of simple assault for striking three individuals and throwing a drink at one. He also was indicted on one count of attempted simple assault for swinging a stick at one of the individuals.

Tsopas was also handed four indictments for conduct after an accident, Class A misdemeanors. The charges relate to Tsopas’ actions in the Rollinsford American Legion parking lot sometime before he drove onto Portland Avenue and became involved in the fatal crash. The indictments state Tsopas was knowingly involved in an accident that resulted in damage to a Toyota Prius, a Toyota Corolla, a Chevy Blazer and a Chevy pickup truck as Tsopas was leaving the Legion parking lot. It says he failed to stop at the scene to provide his information or report the accident to the police.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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