BOSTON (CBS) – A Dorchester woman was arraigned Friday on motor vehicle homicide charges following a deadly hit and run crash on Thursday night.
Christina Martinez, 21, was driving a car that struck and killed a woman near Northampton and Washington streets in Boston’s South End, officials said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Doug Cope reports
On Friday, family members in court identified the victim as Violisha Pullum.
Martinez, who works at a day care and is in school to become a teacher, allegedly took off after striking the 63-year-old grandmother as she was crossing the street.
Witnesses were able to record her license plate. Police found Martinez and the car at her home later Thursday night. The car windshield was smashed, and officers say Martinez admitted to being involved in the crash. According to prosecutors, Martinez told police, “I know why you’re here. I panicked.”
According to police, Martinez has a license restriction that requires her to wear prescription glasses when she drives. Officers say she was not wearing those glasses at the time of the crash.
In addition to motor vehicle homicide, Martinez also faces charges of operating a motor vehicle without being licensed (outside of glasses restriction) and leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
Keyanna Williams says her aunt was loving and helpful, known to everyone in the neighborhood. “I just wanted to let everyone know, the world to know, she was wonderful,” Williams said of Pullum.
Tanaysha Howell, another one of Pullum’s many nieces, says, “She was a wonderful woman. This is hard. People have to be mindful. You have to pay attention to the pedestrians.”
Williams says, “I just want to get the other drivers to know regardless of what your situation, when you hit a human being or even an animal, you need to stop and you need to stop and see if this person is okay.”
Scott Gediman, Martinez’s attorney, says Christina Martinez is extremely upset about what happened. “The Martinez family and friends would like to send their biggest sympathies and condolences to the family in this matter. It was a tragic and unfortunate accident and they are truly, truly sorry for the grief for the victims family.”
Words of little comfort to Violisha Pullum’s family. Pullum’s son James said, “The way you drove or how you drove caused a death.”
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.