LAWRENCE (CBS) – The Essex District Attorney’s office says a Saturday crash that killed an 11-year-old girl in Lawrence started when a suspect sped off from a traffic stop. The driver is now facing several charges, including manslaughter.
It started around 5:30 p.m. when Lawrence Police stopped a 2009 Infinit G37 at the intersection of South Union Street and Winthrop Ave. While the officer was walking up to the car, Lawrence Police say Selvin Manuel Lima, 25, drove off at a high rate of speed.
District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque said on Sunday that the officer did not pursue Lima. Prosecutors say that as Lima approached the intersection of Winthrop Ave. and Andover Street, he lost control, crossed into the southbound side of the road and slammed into a 2016 Honda Civic head-on.
There were five people inside the Civic. Among them was an 11-year-old girl who was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital but pronounced dead.
A 27-year-old Lawrence man, 29-year-old Peabody woman, and two female children from Peabody were taken to Boston hospitals with serious injuries. As of Sunday morning, Blodgett said all four are still alive.
“She just kept asking my friend, “[are] my children alright?” And all he could say was ‘they’re OK,'” said Rosemarie Klinger of Lawrence.
Following the crash, Lima was taken by MedFlight to Brigham & Women’s Hospital with serious injuries.
“I saw med flight, in the air. Four of them. They took all 4 of them. Going all the way to Boston. So, all of them are in very bad shape,” said Klinger.
Lima is charged with manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, subsequent offense of operating after a license suspended and failing to stop for a police officer. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday in the hospital.
“It’s just so sad seeing a poor girl die,” said Wayne Boucher, a Good Samaritan who ran to the crash scene. “I screamed and yelled, ‘Call the cops. Call 911.'”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the victim’s age, based on information provided by the Essex County District Attorney’s office.