Sep. 24—A Dover man was arrested Friday morning in Portsmouth, and charged in the hit-and-run crash that killed a retired police sergeant on Tuesday. Prosecutors said he was falling asleep at the wheel at the time of the crash.
Craig Sprowl, 45, of Dover, was arrested at a Portsmouth Motel 6 on Friday morning. He has been charged with negligent homicide in the crash that killed retired Hudson police Sgt. Donna Briggs.
Sprowl's wife, Angela Sprowl, 40, of Dover was arrested with him Friday morning at the motel. She has been charged with hindering apprehension.
New Hampshire State Police Col. Nathan Noyes said during a Friday news conference that the investigation into Briggs' death has been complicated, and is still ongoing.
Police had released photos and surveillance photos of the vehicle they say struck Briggs, a blue GMC Yukon, late Tuesday. The SUV had a sizable dent in the hood on the passenger side.
State police said the vehicle was the SUV they believe Sprowl was driving in Derry, parked at a business called Top Line Motorsports.
On Friday morning, state police found the Sprowls at a hotel in Portsmouth. They were arrested without incident, Noyes said, though he added that Craig Sprowl had been hospitalized.
Sprowl pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Friday afternoon in Rockingham County Superior Court.
During his arraignment, prosecutors said he had apparently been nodding off at the wheel before the accident.
Rockingham County Attorney Pat Conway said Sprowl has a long criminal history that includes thefts, credit card fraud, drug addiction and probation violations. In fact, Conway said, Sprowl had been out on bail for an unrelated charge when he allegedly crashed into Briggs.
Sprowl's public defender, Deanna Campbell, noted that Sprowl had successfully completed drug court a year ago, but said his history reflects long-term problems with drug abuse and mental illness. She said he was working as an auto detailer and "probably burning a candle at both ends," given his long hours.
Sprowl participated by telephone from a hospital bed, where he was taken from Rockingham County jail. He suffers from diabetes and has significant damage to his legs and feet. He also had seizures at the jail, which led to the hospitalization. Campbell said it's uncertain how long he will have to be hospitalized.
Judge David Ruoff ordered Sprowl held on preventive detention, noting his extensive record as well as his attempt to elude capture as reasons for denying him release before trial.
"They're very serious felonies committed at the end of a long history of felonies in your life," Ruoff said.