Surveillance video said key in fatal bike hit-run arrest

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Jason Douglas (Rochester Police photo)

ROCHESTER - Rochester Police shed light on Friday on one of the reasons why it took so long to charge a New Durham man in the fatal hit-and-run of a bicyclist, saying extensive review of surveillance video was key in enabling them to bring charges forward.

"It took some time to get a hold of surveillance video," Rochester Police Capt. Paul Toussaint told The Lebanon Voice in an exclusive interview on Friday. Toussaint, however, would not disclose the location of where surveillance video used in the case had been obtained.

A little more than two months after Jeffrey Howarth, 51, of Rochester was killed by a motorist who then fled the scene, Jason Douglas, of 28 Miller Road, New Durham was finally arrested on Thursday and charged with conduct after an accident, a Class B felony that could draw up to a seven-year prison term.

Jeffrey Howarth

... killed in hit-and-run

The lengthy investigation by Rochester Police and the Strafford County Technical Accident Reconstruction Team also included numerous interviews, DNA analysis, toxicology tests and accident reconstruction and analysis.

Howarth was riding his bicycle around 12:30 a.m. on May 7 on Route 11 at the Exit 15 southbound on-ramp to the Spaulding Turnpike when he was struck, police say.

The vehicle failed to stop, however, and it was determined that Howarth was struck by a vehicle that had been heading east on Route 11 and was entering the on-ramp. He was dead when responders arrived. Howarth's bike was found to have no lights or reflectors.

Police found the vehicle suspected in the crash later that day in the New York Street area of Dover, N.H., prompting the impounding of the vehicle and the beginning a lengthy forensic investigation.

Toussaint on Friday would not comment on any possible connection between the Dover location where the truck was found and Douglas.

Douglas was bailed on $25,000 personal recognizance with an arraignment set for Aug. 31.

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