Police: Texting teen ran down another

HAVERHILL — A 16-year-old Haverhill boy was arrested Wednesday afternoon and accused of running down another boy in Lafayette Square while texting behind the wheel.

Aureo Alicea, 16, of 401 Lowell Ave., was charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, texting while driving, assault with a dangerous weapon, and driving without a license, second offense.

It marks the second time this year a Haverhill teen has been charged with texting while driving.

On Feb. 20, a car driven by Aaron Deveau, 17, crossed the center line on River Street near Cliffe Avenue and struck another car head-on.

Donald Bowley Jr., 55, of Danville, N.H., driver of the other car, and Luz Selena Roman, 58, of Haverhill were airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital. Bowley later died of his injuries.

In Wednesday’s crash, police said Alicea was at the wheel of a red minivan driving through Lafayette Square about 2:15 p.m. when the vehicle struck a 15-year-old boy who was attempting to cross the street.

Alicea stopped momentarily and was approached by two witnesses who told him he had hit the other boy.

Police said the witnesses told them Alicea responded, “I’m sorry, I was texting.”

Alicea then tried to drive off and when the two witnesses tried to stop him, he drove toward them in the minivan before leaving the scene.

Deputy Police Chief Donald Thompson said descriptions of Alicea and the minivan provided to police enabled officers to find Alicea.

The 15-year-old boy was treated at the scene by emergency personnel and taken to Merrimack Valley Hospital with injuries believed to be non-life-threatening, Thompson said.

Alicea had been arrested within the past month and charged with driving without a license.

He was to be arraigned in Lawrence Juvenile Court yesterday.

Officer Todd Smith is investigating the Lafayette Square incident.

Deveau is awaiting trial on charges of motor vehicle homicide; texting while driving; two counts of driving a vehicle negligently while texting and causing injury; being a minor using a cellphone while driving; composing, sending or receiving an electronic message while driving a vehicle; negligent operation of a vehicle and driving left of center.

A Massachusetts law prohibiting texting while driving took effect Sept. 30, 2010.