Police: Drunk Driver Fled Scene of Crash, Killing Man, Injuring Daughter

Michael Dixon of Derry, New Hampshire faces multiple charges

A Massachusetts family has been torn apart after an allegedly drunk driver caused a motorcycle crash that killed a father and left his daughter badly hurt in Derry, New Hampshire.

"It was a beautiful day," said Brenda Candela. "There was nothing he could have done."

The sun was still shining at 6:40 p.m. Thursday, when Candela was startled by nightmarish screams.

"It was the daughter," she said. "She was crying for her dad. And he wasn't moving."

Derry Police say 59-year-old Kevin O'Donnell was driving his 28-year-old daughter on a motorcycle when he crashed into a car that took a sudden turn right in front of them.

"They were both wearing helmets," said Candela. "I felt helpless. You know, what do you do? You just feel helpless."

O'Donnell was taken by ambulance to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, where he later died. His daughter suffered non-life-threatening neck and shoulder injuries and was transported to Parkland Medical Center in Derry.

The car involved in the crash fled the scene prior to police arrival.

The single tire skid mark is not long, and it proves what neighbors say - that the motorcycle rider did not have any time to react when the vehicle took a left-hand turn and went speeding down Hickory Drive."

"That man went swerving down that street, and some kids came up afterwards," said Candela. "He almost hit the kids on the bikes, too."

With the help of witnesses, police tracked down the driver, 46-year-old Michael Dixon, five miles away in Londonderry.

"We searched for an extensive period of time before we actually located him," said Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas. "He came out of the woods."

Dixon is charged with negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving drunk. Police say he had 11 beers before getting behind the wheel - a decision they say caused the death of O'Donnell and changed his daughter's life forever.

"I don't know how he can live with it," said Candela. "His whole action was just out of pure selfishness. He destroyed a family and just took off."

Police say Dixon has been arrested several times before for drinking and being aggressive. He's being held on $250,000 cash bail and is due back in court on May 15.

Route 102 was closed for six hours while the investigation took place. Police said it is believed that the motorcycle was headed west on Route 102 when the Kia, which was headed east, attempted to make a left turn onto Hickory Road.

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