East Providence man charged in hit-and-run that left a mother dead
SEEKONK, Mass (WLNE) - An East Providence man has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run that killed a Seekonk mother.
Jeremy Schmidt, 27, was charged with Leaving the Scene - Death Resulting, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Marked Lane Violation after authorities say he was behind the wheel of a vehicle that hit and killed a woman walking.
According to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Schmidt was traveling in Jeep Cherokee on Newman Avenue in Seekonk Thursday just before 7 p.m., when he drove off the road and onto the sidewalk, striking 37-year-old Antonieta Surette.
"It was pure chaos. I saw the car going, I screamed at the guy to stop. He just continued to keep going,” witness Dana Johnson said.
Antoniete Surette, 37, who goes by the nickname "Toni", was walking on the sidewalk with her 10-year-old son when she was hit, just two doors away from her home.
She was later pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.
Schmidt fled the scene, and was arrested in East Providence Friday around 4:30 a.m. by Rhode Island State Police.
He was arraigned Friday morning in Providence District Court as a fugitive from justice and waived extradition.
He will be arraigned on the hit and run charges on Monday in Taunton District Court.
His attorney said to ABC6 that his client didn't know the woman he hit had died until the two spoke before going into court.
Surette's friend and neighbor, Jessica Sampson, saw it unfold from her front steps.
"I just grabbed him right away and ran to get her husband, and I just hugged her son until the ambulance came," Sampson said Friday.
Sampson, who lives just four houses away from Surette, said she was always working to provide for her family.
"She was a really hard worker, and was just a wicked sweet person. She would stand here and talk to me at the bus stop before the bus came for like 45 minutes sometimes. We'd just talk about life," Sampson said.
Sampson said it's unbelievable that someone like this happened in the quiet neighborhood, and to someone like Toni.
"It's really scary. It doesn't make me feel safe here. She wasn't in a place where she should have got hit. She was on the sidewalk,” Sampson said.
WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019