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22-year-old from Mattapan charged in UMass-Dartmouth crash that killed Frank Petillo



Frank A. Petillo Jr.

The 22-year-old driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian on the UMass-Dartmouth campus in April has officially been charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide by Negligent Operation, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Danasia Sampson, 22, of Mattapan, will be arraigned on the charge in New Bedford District Court on November 7th.

On April 6th at approximately 5:30 p.m., UMass Dartmouth Campus Police were called regarding a motor vehicle that struck a pedestrian on campus. Campus Police responded and located 19-year-old Frank A. Petillo Jr., a UMass Dartmouth student from New Jersey, lying in the roadway on Ring Road with significant injuries. Portillo was transported to St Luke’s Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Danasia Sampson, the student operator of a gray Honda Accord, was located at the scene.

The fatality was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office along with the CARS Unit of the Massachusetts State Police. At the conclusion of that investigation last month, a trooper assigned to the DA’s office filed a criminal citation against Sampson. Due to the nature of the alleged crime, Sampson had a right to a clerk magistrate hearing at New Bedford District Court before an official criminal charge could issue. That hearing was held Thursday, at which point the clerk magistrate determined probable cause did exist to formally charge Sampson.

The DA’s Office stated that further information on the facts of the case cannot be released until Sampson’s arraignment in open court.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Driscoll will be prosecuting the case.

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