A newlywed bride from St. Paul, Minn., was killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into the couple's car during a honeymoon road trip through New England.
Leah Fonda, 30, died in the crash Saturday afternoon on Route 4 in Rollinsford, N.H. Her husband, 30-year-old Brian Preiss, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition Monday.
Family members told FOX 9 News Preiss has his parents by his side and is recovering from internal injuries and facial cuts as well as the knowledge that his wife was killed.
New Hampshire State Trooper Christopher Storm said 43-year-old Matthew Tsopas of Somersworth, N.H. was traveling west on Route 4 when his 2008 Infiniti G35SX drifted all the way into the eastbound lane and struck the 2008 KIA Spectra, driven by Preiss, nearly head-on. Tsopas fled the scene but was located a short time later and brought to Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover, N.H.
Storm said preliminary details indicate speed and driver impairment were factors in the crash, but the crash remains under investigation.
Monday morning, Tsopas was arrested at the hospital and charged with negligent homicide, felony DUI and felony conduct after an accident. Tsopas remained hospitalized in Dover, N.H., held on $250,000 bond.
Family members told FOX 9 News Fonda and Preiss, both Mall of America amusement park employees, were married during an intimate ceremony on July 12 in Bloomington.
"The love you saw in their eyes -- this is true love," said Ken Czech, uncle to Preiss. "She had a smile that would light up a room and eyes that glistened. On her wedding day, she didn't stop smiling the entire day."
Czech said the pair met at the Mall of America 12 years ago but only began dating last fall.
"Being a shy person, it took him a while to get to it, but he did," Czech explained. "At that point in time, they knew they were meant for each other."
Jasmine Jackson worked with the two ride operators, and she told FOX 9 News the couple walked hand-in-hand each day they were at work.
"She loved Brian. That's the last memory everyone has -- her love for this man," Jackson said.
Jackson said the whole team gathered the day before the wedding, and everyone was thrilled the two had found romance at work.
"We all hugged each other, told them to have a great trip," she recalled.
Fonda and Preiss were one week and one day into their honeymoon -- a road trip to Boston -- when the crash occurred. Just before, the couple called Preiss' parents to let them know they were on their way to Niagara Falls.
"You go from the wondrous glory of a beautiful wedding -- eight days later finds our loved ones injured and killed in a senseless crime of violence," Czech lamented.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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