(WPRI) — A California woman who left the scene of a fatal hit and run in Dartmouth earlier this year was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.
Prosecutors said 59-year-old Natalie Vieira pleaded guilty to a one count indictment Wednesday afternoon. She was ordered to serve 20 months at the Bristol County House of Corrections, with the balance of the jail term suspended for three years.
Stasha Lynn Faria, 33, of Westport, was struck and killed while walking on State Road last March. Prosecutors said Faria was struck from behind by a vehicle with such force that she was propelled into the air and ended up hitting a utility pole nearby, which caused severe head and bodily injuries.
“This was a tragedy for the victim and her family. All the defendant had to do was stop, but instead she took off and left victim in the street,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said. “The police had to come find the defendant. There needs to be accountability.”
Police said the vehicle, driven by Vieira, did not stop at the scene. Police received multiple tips after they released a description of the car involved in the incident and located the vehicle at a body shop in Fall River.
Prosecutors said once the vehicle was located, Vieira denied driving the vehicle the night Faria was hit, but after being pressed by investigators, she confessed.
Vieira told officers she thought she saw something quickly pass in front of her car, but thought she had struck a light pole. When she was asked why she didn’t remain on scene, she said he panicked.