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Cops: Driver likely on drugs during crash that killed pedestrians

Spencer Prigmore

Spencer Prigmore

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A street sign lies on the ground near the Lilburn scene where a woman and her 6-year-old daughter were struck by a car and killed Thursday evening. Spencer Prigmore, 43, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and two counts of vehicular homicide. (Staff photo: Tyler Estep)

LILBURN — Police believe Spencer Prigmore was on drugs when he drove his pickup truck over a curb and onto the sidewalk along Lawrenceville Highway, killing a woman and her 6-year-old daughter.

Lilburn police responded to the sidewalk in front of Calvary Baptist Church at about 6:40 p.m. Thursday, finding Maria Alicia Cervantes Maldonado, 36, and Melissa Paola Cervantes, 6, “lying lifeless” on the ground. The white pickup truck that several witnesses reported striking the mother and daughter — believed to have been walking home after visiting a nearby shopping center — wasn’t there, but concerned motorists had managed to force it to pull over just a quarter-mile down the road, Capt. Thomas Bardugon said.

“There was no high-speed pursuit or anything like that,” Bardugon said, “but they did folow the vehicle and the person was convinced to pull over into a parking lot.”

The driver of that vehicle was Prigmore, a 43-year-old Lilburn resident. He and a female passenger, who has not been identified, “displayed physical manifestations that suggested they were highly intoxicated.” Witnesses described Prigmore driving southbound on Lawrenceville Highway, jumping the curb and hitting the victims before returning to the roadway, Bardugon said.

Both Prigmore and his passenger, a white female in her 20s, were detained Thursday but not coherent enough to provide ample statements, officials said. The passenger was not charged and returned to her mother’s house after police spent “several hours” trying to get a name and address from her. Prigmore was charged with DUI-drugs, two counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and hit and run.

Prigmore was “very emotional, very incoherent as to what exactly was going on,” Bardugon said. “He did appear to be under the influence of something when I saw him … The investigators who worked the case felt that he was under the influence of some kind of drug as opposed to alcohol.”

After the driver reportedly declined to submit to blood tests, search warrants were obtained and he was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for testing. The blood sample will be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab and may take several weeks to be returned, Bardugon said.

Jail records show Prigmore has now been arrested eight times in Gwinnett County, including a DUI in 1999 and two separate incidents involving open container citations.

Comments

notblind 9 months ago

We should all commend the citizens that followed this person and held him until the police arrived.

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eagle9857 9 months ago

There's a point when the justice system needs to put him away for a good amount of time after being arrested seven times. Maybe if he had, his eighth arrest (which came as a result of killing two people with his vehicle) would have never happened.

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