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Norton woman convicted in fatal car crash



A 51-year-old Norton woman, whose negligent driving, caused the July 2015 death of a 31-year-old Norwood on Route 495 was convicted after a trial in Attleboro District Court last week, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

According to Gregg Miliote of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, after a two day trial, a jury of her peers on Friday afternoon convicted Karen Melendy of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

On July 16, 2015 at around 7:30 a.m. 911 callers reported a multiple-car crash on Route 495 North in the Town of Norton. A State Police investigation determined that the defendant made a multi-lane lane change on Route 495 without first stabilizing her vehicle in the middle lane. As the defendant continued into the left lane, which was occupied by the victim’s vehicle, the convergence caused the victim to lose control of her vehicle and cross over the unprotected highway median before being struck by another vehicle on the other side of the highway.

Norton Fire/EMS found the victim, Dominica Howard, unrestrained in her vehicle and in cardiac arrest. A heartbeat was restored by paramedics on scene and she was rushed to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. After being stabilized, she was then transferred to Rhode Island Hospital, where she died shortly before noon.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Lopes, who recommended a two-and-a-half year house of correction sentence with 60 days to serve, and the balance of the sentence suspended for three years. ADA Lopes also argued for three years of probation with a 15-year loss of driver’s license.

Judge Daniel O’Shea, however, sentenced the defendant to two years of probation with a 15-year loss of driver’s license.

“This was a very tragic case for everyone involved,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Despite this terrible tragedy, I hope everyone impacted can try to now move forward with their lives.”

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