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Commander of New Hampshire Air National Guard Killed in Hit-and-Run Incident Near His Home

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A one-star general who was the commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard was killed in a hit-and-run vehicle crash near his home Monday, according to the state service component.

Brig. Gen. John “Pogo” Pogorek, 57, of Rochester, New Hampshire, was pulled over on the side of the road not far from his home around 5 p.m. local time Monday and was securing a load on a trailer connected to his Toyota Tundra when he was struck by a red Toyota Rav4 — which continued driving after hitting the Air National Guard commander, local police said in a Facebook post.

“As a result of the collision, Pogorek suffered life-threatening injuries and [was] pronounced deceased on scene,” the Rochester, New Hampshire, Police Department said in a post. “There was [a] juvenile passenger in the Toyota Tundra during the crash that did not sustain any injuries from the incident.”

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Pogorek became the commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard in June 2022, according to a copy of his service biography. Previously, he was the commander of the 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire and, prior to that, commander of the 157th Operations Group at the same installation.

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

Police later identified a 2012 Toyota Rav4 as being driven by an 81-year-old, according to local NBC Channel 10, but no charges had been filed by Tuesday afternoon.

Pogorek joined the service in 1989 after graduating from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. During his career, he amassed more than 6,300 flight hours in the C-130E, HC130P/N, KC-46A, KC-135R, T-1A, T-37 and T-38 aircraft, his biography reads.

As the commander of the New Hampshire Air National Guard, he was in charge of more than 1,300 service members located on Pease Air National Guard Base. Pogorek leaves behind his wife and five children.

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

The Rochester, New Hampshire, Police Department said in a Facebook post Tuesday that “all aspects of the crash remain under investigation” and anyone with information can contact the detective on the case at (603) 330-7128.

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