Massachusetts State Police

Victim and Suspect Identified in Fatal Somerville Hit-and-Run Crash

52-year-old Cheryl Pauline Richards of Somerville is remembered by a friend as a warm, sweet, caring and funny person

The victim and suspect in a fatal hit-and-run in Somerville have both been identified by authorities, Massachusetts State Police said Sunday.

The Saturday night crash killed 52-year-old Cheryl Pauline Richards of Somerville.

"I was just shocked, like, you would be shocked, right?" said Daniel Krcmar, who lived in the same building as Richards for eight years and spent a lot of that time getting to know her. "She was a neighbor and a friend and always a lovely person."

Police identified 64-year-old Zewdu Abate Gedamu, of Roxbury, as the driver of the vehicle that struck Richards. Authorities had asked the public for help in locating the vehicle involved in the crash before Gedamu turned himself in Sunday morning. He was then arrested following an interview with police.

He was driving a 2008 Mercedes-Benz E350 when he allegedly struck Richards around 8 p.m. on Mystic Avenue southbound in the area of Stop and Shop, officials say.

A preliminary investigation suggests Richards was walking in a crosswalk when she was struck. Police say Gedamu did not stop and he continued driving southbound.

"I think that also maybe police need to watch the more dangerous intersections in terms of people running red lights and things like that," she said.

Krcmar is still processing her friend passing away so suddenly but wants people to remember this when they hear Cheryl Richards name: "She cared for her friends and she cared for her family and she was just a warm, sweet, funny person."

Gedamu is charged with leaving the scene of a crash causing personal injury or death and a crosswalk violation. He was booked Sunday at the Medford barracks and is being held on $1,000 cash bail.

Gedamu is expected to be arraigned Monday in Somerville District Court. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Further charges are possible, police say, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing.

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