Police ID driver, victims in fatal Lilburn hit-and-run

Police ID driver, victims in fatal Lilburn hit-and-run

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LILBURN, Ga. -

Police say Spencer T. Prigmore, 43, drove under the influence when his large white pick-up truck jumped the curb along Lawrenceville Highway and struck Maria Alicia Cervantes Maldonado and Melissa Paola Cervantes, 6.

Prigmore, of Lilburn, remains in police custody and faces several charges, including two counts of vehicular homicide, hit-and-run/failure to stop and reckless driving, according to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.

Prigmore's passenger, who was also intoxicated at the time of the crash, will not face charges, Lilburn police said. She's been released to her mother's care and it's not expected that police will release her age or identity.

Police say Prigmore was very emotional and incoherent when police arrested him Thursday evening, just minutes after his truck struck the mother and daughter on southbound Lawrenceville Highway, just past Harbins Road.

Lilburn Police Capt. Thomas Bardugon said, "Officers arrived on the scene and they found an adult female and a child...on the side of the road there. The vehicle had struck them and left the scene and continued southbound on Lawrenceville Highway."

Lilburn police determined Prigmore's truck struck Cervantes Maldonado and little girl as he tried to pass a car traveling southbound on Lawrenceville Highway.

"As it came back into its lane, for whatever reason, it left the roadway, got up on the sidewalk, struck the pair, the pedestrians that were walking down the way, and continued on," Capt. Bardugon said.

Police say Prigmore and his female passenger were stopped about a quarter-mile from the accident scene at a check cashing place. They were taken into custody there and to police headquarters for questioning.

MOTHER, DAUGHTER REMEMBERED


Those who know 36-year-old Cervantes Maldonado, of Lilburn, say they are devastated and heart-broken by her sudden, violent death. They say she diligently worked cleaning houses and that her only daughter, Melissa, liked to play outside. Melissa would have entered the second grade at Lilburn Elementary School this fall.

"Sweet girl. Good girl," said Cervantes-Maldonado's friend, Pamela Rosales. "She always said ‘Hi' to everybody."

Eranti Rubio said that she's miss all the playtime she and Melissa shared.

"We drew, we played tag. We played hide and go seek with all the rest of the kids," said Rubio.

Neighbor Pamela Rosales also remembered the Lilburn Elementary School student as playful.

"Always playing outside. My sister loved her. She doesn't know right now," said Rosales.

Carvantes' roommate, Kathy Yanez, said she's in disbelief.

"I just can't believe it.  It is just unbelievable.  I'm still in a state of shock," said Yanez.

Kathy says the two had walked from the home they shared with her in Lilburn and were headed for a nearby store.

"It makes me angry and puzzled because I don't know what to do about drugs and alcohol and people who are irresponsible and get behind the wheel," Yanez said.

Kathy says the mother and daughter had walked from the home they shared with her in Lilburn and were headed for a nearby store.

Kathy said that Melissa was everything to Maria.

"She was a very dedicated mother and she just lived for Melissa, her little girl.  And they were just, both of them, were just precious, precious souls," Yanez said.

Friends and family have created a memorial for the mother and daughter at the site on Lawrenceville Highway where they died.

Funeral arrangements have not been made.

SUSPECT HAS TROUBLED PAST


FOX 5 has learned that Prigmore is no stranger to the Gwinnett County Jail. Authorities said Thursday's arrest was Prigmore's eighth.

In July 1999, Prigmore spent more than a month in jail on a DUI charge.

In 2004, he was arrested for failing to appear in court for an incident connected to a woman who is now his ex-wife. Later that year, he was arrested again, this time on a theft by taking charge.

The following year, a battery charge got Prigmore locked up again.

In 2008, he was arrested for furnishings alcohol to a minor, violating the open container law and possession of drug related objects.

Four years later, Prigmore was charged with shoplifting and threatening others.

In April of 2013, Prigmore was book for having an open alcohol container and other safety violations.

When Prigmore was arrested on Thursday, he listed a Lilburn home as his address. That same home is also listed as the address of William Henry Hayes, a man identified several times in Prigmore's arrest records.

Prigmore refused to submit to a test of his blood, urine or other bodily fluids for the purpose of determining if he was under the influence of any drugs at the time of the accident, Lilburn police said. Investigators obtained a search warrant for his blood so that it could be submitted to the GBI Crime Lab for testing.

After receiving the search warrant, Prigmore was transported to the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville where his blood was drawn. The sample has been secured in evidence and will be transported to the GBI Crime Lab for testing.

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