Prosecutors say the Pembroke woman charged in connection to a fatal hit-and-run crash Thursday in Cambridge called 911 upon seeing the body of the 80-year-old woman she allegedly struck before driving away, according to The Boston Globe.
Ashley Monturio, 41, who reportedly told the dispatcher she did not know what had happened to the woman, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court Friday morning on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf, and Monturio, who was arrested Thursday night and does not have a prior criminal record, was released on personal recognizance.
Authorities allege Monturio was behind the wheel of a white Infiniti QX 60 SUV that struck Romelia Gallardo, of Cambridge, around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, as the 80-year-old woman pushed a wheeled walker in the parking lot at the Cambridge Housing Authority building at 150 Erie St., according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office.
Initial reports to police stated Gallardo was injured and on the ground in the parking lot, according to the district attorney’s office. She was brought to Cambridge Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
In court Friday, prosecutors alleged Monturio struck Gallardo, a resident of the apartment complex, as she walked by the front passenger side of the SUV and bent down to pick something up, according to the Globe.
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Maren Schrader said Monturio drove over Gallardo “as if going over a speed bump,” the newspaper reports.
Monturio allegedly called 911 reporting that a woman was lying on the ground with injuries but said she had to get to a job interview and that she did not know the victim or what had happened, the Globe report said.
Monturio could be seen in surveillance video standing over Gallardo’s body and walking away before dialing 911, according to the newspaper.
“We do have substantial evidence in this case,” Schrader said.
Monturio voluntarily went to the Cambridge police station after police reached out to her when the surveillance camera captured her license plate number, the Globe reports.
“All of us at the (Cambridge) Police Department want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and the LBJ Housing community,” Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard Jr. said in a statement posted on Twitter Thursday. “While this is a tragic incident, I am proud of the outstanding investigative work conducted today.”
Per Commissioner Bard: “All of us at the #CambMA Police Department want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and the LBJ Housing community. While this is a tragic incident, I am proud of the outstanding investigative work conducted today.”
— Cambridge Police?? (@CambridgePolice) September 7, 2018
Monturio was released after Friday’s hearing but is barred from driving and was ordered to surrender her license as she awaits trial, the Globe reports.
“Why wasn’t there no bail?” Jose, Gallardo’s grandson, told reporters. “There’s no justice. So I can just run over somebody right now, call the police, and just leave and that’s it.”
As she left court, Monturio did not comment. Her lawyer, Patrick Reddington, declined to talk about the case but said, “We are deeply saddened and very apologetic for the loss of the family,” the newspaper reports.
Monturio is scheduled to appear again in court on Nov. 27.