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One killed in Somerville crash; driver survives and faces charges

Posted by Swati Gauri Sharma  April 22, 2011 02:09 PM

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A 16-year-old girl from Everett is dead, another teenager is in grave condition, and a 21-year-old Somerville man is facing motor vehicle homicide and drunken driving charges after a single-car crash on the McGrath Highway in Somerville early today, State Police said.

Kenneth W. Belew, 21, the driver of the car, also faces charges of speeding and failure to observe marked lanes. He allegedly lost control of his 2001 Chevrolet about 3:30 a.m. "due to excessive speed and impairment by alchohol" on his way back from a Somerville house party, State Police said.

Authorities have not released the name of the girl who was killed, who was pronounced dead at the scene, or the 17-year-old who remains in "grave condition" at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The crash took place at the elevated portion of the highway where it passes over Washington Street in Somerville, State Police said.

It was unclear if Belew would be arraigned today or Monday in Somerville District Court, authorities said. He was released after medical treatment today into the custody of the state police, who are booking him at the Medford barracks this afternoon, said State Police spokesman David Procopio.

Other than the driver and the girl in grave condition, three other passengers survived the wreck and were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with minor injuries. They were: Jerry Altidor, 21, of Somerville; Rafaela Pereira, 19, of Everett; and Rudolph Reis, 20, of Somerville, according to a statement by State Police Spokesman David Procopio.

The driver, the girl who was killed, and the girl who was gravely injured were not wearing their seat belts. The three who suffered minor injuries were, State Police said.

State Police investigating the crash believe Belew and the five others were returning home from a Somerville house party "where alcohol was consumed," when Belew lost control of the car, striking concrete barriers.

A 17-year-old Somerville girl is in "grave condition" at Massachusetts Hospital, State Police said. State Police had initially reported her as dead. Two other passengers in the car were also injured, but not as seriously.

The occupants of the car were returning from a house party, State Police said.

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