Seekonk accident

A police officer investigates a fatal pedestrian accident off Newman Avenue (Route 152) in Seekonk Thursday night. The victim's sneakers are on the sidewalk.

SEEKONK -- Rhode Island State Police early Friday morning arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run accident that killed a 37-year-old mother who had been walking with her 11-year-old son on Newman Avenue (Route 152).

Jeremy Schmidt, 27, of East Providence, was arrested in Providence about 4:30 a.m., according to Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's office.

He waived rendition Friday morning in Providence and was to be transported back to Massachusetts Friday afternoon for arraignment in Taunton District Court, Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said.

Schmidt faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident with death resulting, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes violation.

A Jeep Cherokee believed to have been the vehicle involved in the accident was reportedly located about 11 p.m. Thursday less than 3 miles from the accident scene in East Providence. It was said to have had front passenger side damage.

The accident occurred about 6:45 p.m. Thursday in a residential area near 893 Newman Ave. and French Drive, not far from the Pawtucket line.

The woman, identified as Antonieta Vargas, was taken by a Seekonk ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where she was later pronounced dead, Seekonk Police Capt. Matthew Jardine said. Her son didn't appear to be injured.

An eyewitness told The Sun Chronicle the woman was near the lip of a driveway and sidewalk when she was struck.

Dana Johnson of Seekonk, who was driving a truck, said he saw the vehicle hit the woman, who he said flew up in the air, came down on the jeep and rolled off.

Johnson said he immediately pulled his vehicle across Newman Avenue to block traffic.

A doctor also passing by stopped and administered first aid, Johnson said.

"When first responders arrived, they found a male passerby rendering aid to the victim," Miliote said.

State police reconstruction experts responded to the accident scene, and investigators were there for hours.

A good mile or so of Newman Avenue was closed off, from Baker Street to Brown Street.

Attleboro police, who also helped with the search for the vehicle, and Rehoboth police assisted with traffic control.

Anyone having any more information about the accident is asked to contact the Seekonk Police Department at 508-336-8123.

Detectives from the Seekonk Police Department, in conjunction with State Police Troopers assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office and Rhode Island State Police are investigating the incident.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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