New Hampshire prosecutors have charged Nicholas Palangas, 50, in a crash that flipped his car, killing his brother who was trapped inside.
Police said he was driving on a road in Bedford, near Manchester, when the accident happened. He was charged with negligent homicide among other counts, WMUR-TV reported.
“Apparently, as they were going up the road, it looks like it was excessive speed,” prosecutor Bill Thornton said. “They hit the edge of the roadway, which has a little granite curb in there, and caused the car to flip, and it flipped over, according to witnesses, several times.”
Eric Palangas, a former Democratic state legislator, was trapped in the 1970 Chevelle and pronounced dead at the scene. Nicholas Palangas and another passenger suffered what were described as minor injuries.
“This is a terrible tragedy for not only my client, but his entire family,” defense attorney Cathy Green said. “They were two brothers who are extremely close. It’s very early in the case. We don’t know what the evidence is, and we’re now at the point where we’re trying to help the family deal with this tragedy.”
According to court records, a police officer noticed what he described as a faint odor of alcohol coming from Nicholas Palangas. Prosecutors said it will be at least a week until blood test results are ready.
Green said her client has no criminal record and has worked at the Manchester post office for 30 years.
“He is an upstanding member of the community,” she said. “He was supported in court by scores of people this morning and now needs to heal and help his family deal with this.”
Nicholas Palangas was released on $5,000 bail.