Contact: Beth Stone- (508) 584-8120
BROCKTON – A Hanson woman has pleaded not guilty to Motor Vehicle Homicide charges that she was behind the wheel and driving under the influence of drugs when she struck and killed a Hanover woman out for a run, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced.
Kathleen M. Vitello (DOB: 05/01/63) of Hanson, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Plymouth District Court today on one count each of Motor Vehicle Manslaughter and Motor Vehicle Homicide by Operation Under the Influence. The Commonwealth requested and Judge James Sullivan ordered Vitello held on $50,000 cash bail.
At approximately noon on December 23, 2015, Hanson Police received numerous 911 calls reporting a motor vehicle crash with ejection in the area of 854 Winter Street. Police responded to find that a motor vehicle had struck a pedestrian and snapped a utility pole in half. The female pedestrian, identified as 32-year-old Amanda Turner Russell of Hanover, a nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Turner Russell was transported to Brockton Hospital for treatment before being medflighted into Boston. Turner Russell died several days after the crash.
Vitello, who was driving her 2004 Nissan Altima at the time of the accident, sustained injuries and was transported to South Shore Hospital for treatment.
Investigators have determined that Vitello was travelling south on Winter Street when her vehicle crossed the roadway and struck Turner Russell before coming to rest in the center of the roadway. Vitello’s car snapped a utility police and approximately 480 customers in Hanson and Hanover lost power for a short time before National Grid crews were able to restore power.
An ongoing investigation by the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Hanson Police and the State Police Collision, Analysis and Reconstruction Section, determined that Vitello was under the influence of Methadone, Adderall, Xanax and Valium and operating her vehicle at the time Turner Russell was struck. An arrest warrant was issued late yesterday and Vitello turned herself in to Hanson Police. She is next scheduled to appear in court February 25, 2016 for pretrial conference.
Assistant District Attorneys Russell Eonas and Canan Yesilcimen are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Hanson Police.