At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday near 335 Lee Burbank Highway in Revere, Sothany Pen, 22, was hit and killed by a vehicle that fled the scene of the accident. Jon J. Ravida, 47, who struck Pen, reportedly returned to his mother´s house after the accident, hid his damaged Ford Explorer, and then drove past the scene of the accident in his mother´s vehicle. He is also accused of bleaching the stain on his vehicle and trying to hammer out the dents in his vehicle. Megan O’Rourke, Suffolk County assistant district attorney, said during Ravida’s arraignment in Chelsea District Court that he went to great lengths to try to cover up his involvement in the accident.
A Revere police account reported that a witness saw Ravida purchasing cigarettes at a Hess gas station. Ravida and the witness ended up in the same flow of traffic on the northbound side of the freeway and the witness noticed Ravida cross from the left lane and then back to the right lane before swerving back to the left lane. The witness noticed an object fall off of Ravida´s roof which he believed at the time to be a piece of luggage. He then saw Pen lying in the street and pulled over to help her and called 911. At this point, Ravida reversed his vehicle and turned around to go south on the road despite the witness´s attempt to flag him down. Pen had severe head injuries, was not breathing, and had no pulse by the time police arrived.
Another witness, John Merullo, said that he was sitting in the employee parking lot of Capitol Waste Services, a trash hauling company in East Boston, and saw the suspect pull up next to him at 5:35 a.m., immediately following the accident. Merullo commented “I could see fear on his face…Then he very calmly backed out, like he didn’t want to arise suspicion. But the front of his Explorer had a lot of damage to the front, and it was obvious to me that something serious had just happened.” Merullo then drove a short distance before finding the scene of the accident and told police what he had just observed and that the employee parking lot has surveillance cameras. Police also retrieved video surveillance footage from the gas station.
Police arrested Ravida on Monday based on the surveillance evidence and witness accounts. Inhis arraignment, O´Rourke reported that Ravida told police that he hit something but didn´t know what it was on his way to work at Logan International Airport.
Ravida´s license has been suspended four times and he was charged with being at fault in two previous accidents. The defendant pleaded not guilty to charges of motor vehicle homicide and leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury or death. He is scheduled to return to court for a probable cause hearing on September 23. Judge James Wexler set Ravida’s bail at $25,000, citing the defendant’s alleged attempt to cover up his involvement in the fatal accident.
If you have been injured in a Massachusetts car accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer.