By Mike LaBella firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — LAWRENCE — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the driver of a car responsible for a hit-and-run accident in downtown Lawrence early yesterday that seriously injured a city woman.
Police said the accident happened shortly after midnight at Essex and Hampshire streets. Police were called to the scene at 12:43 a.m.
The victim, Marie Pimentel, 41, of 82 Nesmith St. was transported to Lawrence General Hospital, where as of yesterday she was in critical condition. Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said Pimentel was sedated and that she is expected to survive.
According to a police report, Pimentel was driving west on Essex Street in a Honda Civic and was in the left hand lane. As she approached the intersection of Hampshire Street, a blue Scion traveling in the same direction quickly passed her on the right, then made an illegal U-turn at the intersection. A woman who was driving behind Pimentel’s vehicle told police that after the Scion made a U-turn, it struck Pimentel’s car on the driver’s side. The woman told police the Scion paused briefly, then fled east on Essex Street.
Police said the female witness was unable to tell if the driver of the Scion was a male or female. Police issued an alert for a blue Scion with fresh body damage.
The woman said Pimentel then opened her car door and fell onto the street. The woman then called 911.
When they arrived on the scene, police said they found Pimentel laying face down in a small pool of blood from her face. Patriot ambulance workers, Lawrence General Hospital EMTs, Lawrence firefighters and Patrolman Christopher Bussey administered first aid then moved Pimentel to an ambulance.
According to the report, while the ambulance was still on the scene and medical personnel were attending to Pimentel, she stopped breathing several times.
Police said they are reviewing images taken by a security camera at Las Palmas Restaurant, 445 Essex St. The camera was pointed towards the street. Police said the restaurant is about 15 feet from the scene of the accident.
“Obviously the individual who is responsible knew they caused the accident and that people may have been injured, yet this individual chose to flee the scene,” Romero said. “This individual, once identified, is facing some serious charges including leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and perhaps other charges as well.”
A state police accident reconstruction team and a state police trooper assigned to crime scene investigations reported to the scene to assist police in gathering evidence. Lawrence Patrolman Eric Cerullo pointed out to the troopers some blue paint transfer from the suspect’s car that was left on the hood of Pimentel’s car. According to the police report, Pimentel’s car was towed to a sheltered and secure location.
Anyone with information about this accident is asked to contact the Lawrence Police Detective Division at 978-794-5900, ext. 625.