CANTERBURY -- One passenger was killed and the driver and another passenger suffered serious injuries when their SUV drifted off Interstate 93 and struck a tree, police said.

Police added that the driver is facing charges in the crash.

According to New Hampshire State Police, the crash happened about 4:30 p.m. on I-93 southbound in Canterbury near mile marker 50.6. Police said the vehicle, a 1999 Dodge Durango, veered off the highway and headed down an embankment, where it struck a large tree.

Police said there were three occupants in the Durango. A front-seat passenger, Nichole Dempsey, 43, of Plymouth, was pronounced dead at the scene. A rear passenger, Robert Ayer, 37, of Concord, was taken to Concord Hospital with serious injuries.

According to police, the driver of the SUV, James Deveau, 50, of Epping, was also taken to Concord Hospital with serious injuries. Deveau was arrested at the hospital and charged with Felony Aggravated Driving under the Influence of Drugs and Felony Operating After Suspension.

I-93 southbound was restricted to one lane of travel for approximately 4 hours while police investigated the crash.

The New Hampshire State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit (C.A.R.) handled the investigation at the scene, police said. State Police Troop D responded to the crash and was assisted by Canterbury Fire and Rescue, Northfield-Tilton Fire and Rescue, Penacook Fire and N.H. DOT.

"At this time it appears that impairment was a factor in this crash, however all aspects remain under investigation," State Police said in a press release.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact Trooper Daniel Quartulli by email at or at 603-223-8993.