crimesider

Leah Preiss Death: Matthew Tsopas, alleged drunk driver, charged in N.H. crash that killed Minn. newlywed

Leah and Brian Preiss
Family Photo via CBS Boston
(CBS) BOSTON - A newlywed bride was killed and her new husband was seriously injured in a car crash that involved an alleged drunk driver over the weekend, CBS Boston reports. 

According to the station, the driver, identified as 43-year-old Matthew Tsopas, has been charged with vehicular homicide.

PICTURES: Alleged drunk driver charged in crash that killed newlywed

Leah and Brian Preiss were on a road trip from their hometown of St. Paul, Minn. to New England celebrating their honeymoon when they were allegedly struck by Tsopas in Rollinsford, N.H. on Saturday.

According to the station, the erratic driver was perhaps minutes from being pulled over. He was reportedly being followed by a local businessman who was concerned something was wrong with him.

The witness had reportedly dialed 911 and was on the phone talking to police when Tsopas allegedly slammed into the car carrying the couple who had married only nine days earlier.

Twenty-nine-year-old Leah Preiss died as a result of the crash. Brian Preiss reportedly remains hospitalized in Boston.

An eyewitness to the crash told CBS Boston that Tsopas crossed over the center line before hitting the Preiss' and then stripped down to his boxer shorts before fleeing the scene.

Tsopas, a New Hampshire furniture executive, was ultimately caught by police and later arraigned on vehicular homicide charges from his Dover, N.H. hospital bed.

CBS Boston had confirmed that Tsopas was drinking at an anniversary party at the American Legion Hall in Rollinsford, N.H. on Saturday prior to the crash. He reportedly got into a fight at the party and hit four cars as he left the venue. According to the station, the bar that served him is now being investigated.

"One of the first things that New Hampshire State Police did was notify the Liquor Enforcement Bureau and that aspect of the case is being looked into as well," Thomas Velardi, the New Hampshire prosecutor handling the case, told the station.

Leah Preiss' mother told CBS Minnesota she has gone from "totally wounded to totally enraged" and says the driver involved in the incident should have never been on the road.

Both Leah and Brian Preiss were employees of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The mall released a statement saying they were "greatly saddened" to hear about the accident.

"Leah and Brian have been valued members of Nickelodeon Universe since 2001 and have touched many lives. Our hearts and thoughts are with their families and friends during this difficult time," the statement read.

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us