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More charges for woman charged in Nashua hit-and-run fatality

Union Leader Correspondent

August 01. 2014 7:40PM

NASHUA — A local woman who allegedly struck and killed a homeless man while driving drunk is facing additional charges in connection with the case.

Cara E. Smith, 39, of 6 Satin Ave., who was indicted on a charge of negligent homicide in the hit-and-run death of Robert Derome, 63, of Nashua, now faces charges of insurance fraud and conduct after the Feb. 23 accident on West Hollis Street.

Smith had told police she had five alcoholic beverages while out to dinner before the accident, according to court documents.

During her drive home, Smith said she “felt a thump or something hitting her vehicle,” but thought someone had perhaps thrown something at her car, a police affidavit states.

One new indictment alleges Smith contacted GEICO insurance company and filed a false online claim stating that while she was shopping, her parked Chevy Trailblazer was damaged on the front right passenger corner.

The second indictment accuses Smith of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and neglecting to report the accident to police. “Smith advised she slowed, and looked out her windows and did not see anyone/anything in the area, so she continued to drive home,” the affidavit states.

According to court records, Smith told police she saw several news reports indicating a person was hit and killed on West Hollis Street, but said she did not contact police “for fear of implicating herself in the event (as) she was not suspected as being the driver of the involved vehicle.”

Carolyn Kappen, deputy chief medical examiner, determined that Derome died from blunt impact injuries to the head, neck, torso and extremities. The injuries, according to her assessment, are consistent with injuries that would be suffered by a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle, the police affidavit states.

Nicole Thorspecken, county attorney, has filed a notice of intent to seek Class A penalties in connection with the case.

Defense attorney Ed Cross has been assigned to represent Smith, who is free on $50,000 cash/surety bond. Smith pleaded not guilty to the felony charges while waiving her arraignment last month. A trial is tentatively scheduled for April 2015.

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