Loudon firefighter arrested for DUI, negligent homicide after fatal crash 

  • Tyler Dempsey Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 6/17/2019 9:30:20 AM

Before Ryan Christie was killed in a rollover accident in Loudon on Sunday night, he was hanging his head out of the passenger window of a truck owned by his roommate, police say. Tyler Dempsey, 22, kept jerking his steering wheel and accelerating to “mess with him,” according to a police affidavit.

Leandra Jimmo, 21, who was sitting in the backseat, told police the vehicle was moving so fast that her stomach dropped.

The three, who had all gone out for drinks together at TGI Fridays and Tandy’s Pub in Concord, were on their way home about 10:50 p.m. when Dempsey lost control of the car near 68 Bee Hole Road, police said. He was attempting to make a left-hand turn when the car veered off the roadway, struck a tree on its front passenger side and then rolled over.

Christie was pronounced dead at the scene. Dempsey failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for aggravated driving while intoxicated and has been charged with negligent homicide.

Dempsey was held without bail Sunday night and arraigned Monday afternoon in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord. By agreement, he was released under the supervision of the county’s pretrial services program with a court date set for Aug. 28.

Dempsey will be allowed to live at home awaiting trial. He will not be permitted to drink alcohol, be subject to random drug testing and will have to wear a GPS monitoring device, according to court records.

Police said before they arrived at the scene of the crash, Dempsey, who is a part-time EMT and firefighter with the Loudon Fire Department and LifeLine Ambulance service in Massachusetts, had pulled Jimmo, who suffered a minor head injury, out of the truck. Jimmo was taken to Concord Hospital. She has since been released. Dempsey also checked on Christie and was able to determine that he was dead.

State police Sgt. Eric Shirley wrote in an affidavit that Dempsey’s speech was slurred when he spoke with officers. Shirley wrote that officers also observed that Dempsey smelled of alcohol and that his eyes were glassy and bloodshot.

When police spoke to Jimmo at Concord Hospital, she said Dempsey had consumed a “normal amount” of alcohol. She said he had more than one Guinness beer at TGI Fridays and at least one more drink at Tandy’s.

Loudon fire Chief Tom Blanchette said Dempsey will be placed on administrative leave from the fire department pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene. They were assisted on scene by the Loudon Police Department, Chichester Police Department and Loudon Fire/EMS. Bee Hole Road was closed for approximately four hours Sunday night.

State police ask anyone with information about the crash to contact Trooper Dan Quartulli at 223-8993 or email him at Daniel.Quartulli@dos.nh.gov.

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322 or on Twit ter @LeahMWillingham.)

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