New Hampshire

‘Tragic loss': NH Air National Guard Commander killed in hit-and-run crash

No charges have been filed at this point, according to police

NH National Guard

Brig. Gen. John "Pogo" Pogorek, the commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard, was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Rochester on Monday. He was 57 years old.

The New Hampshire National Guard confirmed his death in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, saying "The New Hampshire National Guard and the State of New Hampshire suffered a tragic loss of one of its finest airmen and leaders."

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“Gen. Pogorek was an exemplary wingman, mentor and friend to many,” New Hampshire Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities said. “He served his State and Nation with the utmost professionalism and dedication. He will be deeply missed.”

"On behalf of the entire State of New Hampshire, I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Gen. Pogorek. Gen. Pogorek served his state, country, and community with honor. His commitment and contributions to the Granite State will never be forgotten," added Gov. Chris Sununu.

As the assistant adjutant general for the New Hampshire Air National Guard, Pogorek was responsible for the command, operations and combat readiness of over 1,300 officers, airmen and civilians at Peae AIr National Guard Base in Newington. He is survived by his wife, Whitney, and their five children.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time," Mikolaities said.

Rochester police said they responded to Crown Point Road at 5:22 p.m. Monday for a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. Their preliminary investigation showed that a 2014 Toyota Tundra pulling a trailer was stopped on the side of the road as its driver attempted to resecure a load on his trailer when a red Toyota RAV4 headed west on Crown Point Road struck the pedestrian and continued without stopping.

The driver of the Tundra, identified by police as Pogorek, suffered life-threatening injuries and died at the scene. A juvenile passenger in the Tundra was uninjured.

Police said they were ultimately able to locate the RAV4, which they said was driven by 81-year-old Paul Clement, of Rochester.

The crash remains under investigation, according to police, and no charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call Detective Matthew Flathers at 603-330-7128.

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