Canton woman, 63, struck and killed in hit-and-run crash; high school senior is charged

STOUGHTON — A Norwood High School senior ignored a friend’s pleas to stop and instead drove away from the scene where he allegedly struck and fatally injured a 63-year-old woman in Canton on Thursday, a prosecutor said.

Timothy Ciriello, 19, pleaded not guilty in Stoughton District Court to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing serious injury or death. Bail was set at $10,000 cash.

Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Debi Curley said Ciriello was behind the wheel of a white Mercury sedan around 6:20 p.m. Thursday, accompanied by a friend. At the intersection of Chapman and Wattles streets, Ciriello allegedly struck a pedestrian, who has since been identified as Sandra Johnson.

Curley said that after the impact, Ciriello’s friend urged him to stop the car at the scene. But Curley said Ciriello chose to keep driving.

“It is clear this defendant hit a person and tried to avoid apprehension,’’ Curley said in court.

Several witnesses rushed forward to provide Johnson with emergency first aid, but she was later pronounced dead at a Boston hospital, Curley said.

According to police and defense attorney, Barry Reed, a short time after the crash, Ciriello returned to the scene and identified himself to police as the driver.

Reed said Ciriello was in “some degree of panic mode” after the impact and “never left the proximity” of the crash.

Reed said Ciriello was “inconsolable” after learning that Johnson had died from her injuries.

“He’s very remorseful,” said Reed.

According to a Canton police report filed in court, Ciriello parked his car and then ran back to the scene where he spoke with police. “‘I knew I hit something but I didn’t know what it was, and I panicked,’” Ciriello allegedly told police.

Ciriello’s parents were in the courtroom. They left without speaking to reporters.

Witnesses told police that Johnson “made a bold move” crossing the street, and seemed to be trying to halt traffic with her flashlight. Ciriello did not appear to be speeding, and appeared not to have seen Johnson, one witness said.

According to Registry of Motor Vehicles records, Ciriello’s driving license was active at the time of the crash. The Registry reports that he was involved in surchargeable accident in Stoughton on May 16, 2012.

Ciriello must first pay outstanding motor vehicle excise taxes to the town of Norwood before he can get his license renewed, the Registry said. He also had his license suspended from March 27 until Aug. 30 of this year when he failed to address a traffic violation in New Hampshire, Registry records show.