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A Massachusetts woman charged with hitting a group of children with her car and then fleeing the scene has a prior criminal history involving drug use and driving citations, prosecutors revealed Tuesday.
Stephanie DeTomasi, 30, of Burlington, is charged with leaving the scene of personal injury, leaving the scene of property damage, destroying evidence, negligent operation of a vehicle and speeding in connection with the Oct. 13 hit-and-run crash in which she allegedly struck four children.
U.S. & World
Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that DeTomasi has been in trouble with the law before. Records obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators show DeTomasi has a list of violations dating back to 2007. Among them are racing, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, license suspension for OUI and five speeding violations.
In one of the incidents, in 2013, police said she crashed into a man on a motor scooter who was crossing the street in Revere and left the scene. The officer who pulled her over found heroin in her bag, according to court documents.
In this month's alleged hit-and-run, authorities say DeTomasi was behind the wheel of a car that struck four children, all aged 12 and 13, as they stood with their bicycles near the driveway of a Stoneham home.
Prosecutors said she left the scene dragging a child's bike with her. They said she drove her car to a friend's home in Lynn, removed the license plates and hid it under a tarp after the crash.
All four children were treated at the scene and two were taken to the hospital.
DeTomasi's lawyer argued that she is a longtime local resident and is gainfully employed as an energy auditor, so she is not a significant flight risk. They said there is a significant gap in her criminal history and she appeared without issue on several occasions to drug court in Chelsea.
She pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was released on $1,000 bail. Conditions include stipulations that she refrain from drug and alcohol use and submit to random testing. She is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 26 for a probable cause hearing.
Surveillance footage from the crash showed the group of young children standing in a driveway when a car suddenly speeds toward them, striking the group and knocking them to the ground. In the last split seconds when the car aims at the children, some appear to brace for the impact and try to flee, but it was too late.
"All we heard was the screech of the tires and they just turned toward us," one of the victims said. "We ended up scattered everywhere, we just go flying."
DeTomasi's father has previously apologized to the victims.