Northampton man pleads not guilty in connection with deadly pedestrian accident in Shelburne Falls


SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – The driver in a deadly pedestrian accident Tuesday morning on Route 2 in Shelburne Falls was arraigned Wednesday on several charges.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office identified the driver as 51-year-old Peter Toomey of Northampton. Toomey pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, negligent motor vehicle homicide and failure to stay in marked lanes.

The victim, identified as 45-year-old Rhonda Thompson from Shelburne Falls, was walking along the road with a companion on the breakdown lane when she was struck around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. She died from the accident.

The Greenfield District Court set Toomey’s bail at $25,000. If Toomey posts bail, he must also surrender his driver’s license to the court, not operate a vehicle, not leave the state and report twice a week to the probation department.

According to Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Joseph Webber during the arraignment, Toomey did not stop after hitting Thompson and claimed he hit a deer the previous night, causing front-end damage to his vehicle. Webber also stated that when Toomey was arrested, he said he did not stop because someone was with Thompson and assumed they would get help.

State Police Detective Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office as well as the State Police Collision Analysis & Reconstruction Section will continue to investigate the accident.

A hearing is scheduled for July 8th when the court will review if there is enough evidence for the case to move to Superior Court.

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