OUI Manslaughter Defendant Connected to Fatal 2015 Fall River Crash Sentenced to State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
August 24, 2016

District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a 21-year-old Dartmouth man was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty this week to charges connected to a November, 2015 drunk driving crash in Fall River that resulted in the death of a passenger in his car.

Cameron Silva on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of OUI-Masnlaughter and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

On Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm, a passerby placed a 911 call regarding a white 2005 Ford Focus located in a wooded area off Copicut Road in Fall River. When police and rescue personnel arrived on scene, two males were inside of the Focus. The passenger, who was determined to be deceased at the scene, was identified as 21-year-old Jeffrey DeSousa. DeSousa was seat-belted into the passenger seat. The driver was identified as Cameron J. Silva. The first officer on the scene reported that he detected a very strong odor of a stale alcoholic beverage that seemed to be emanating from the back seat. Silva was eventually extricated from the vehicle by rescue personnel and transported by Med Flight to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Medical records from the hospital show that that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was .19, more than twice the legal limit.

A subsequent police investigation revealed that the defendant was consuming beers earlier in the afternoon with the victim and another friend. The three then went to Gumbo’s in Dartmouth where they consumed mixed hard liquor drinks. Investigators also learned that after the young men exited the restaurant, the defendant lost his balance and fell over. The friend who was with Silva and DeSousa attempted to drive but the defendant refused to let him. The friend stated that he was concerned about Silva’s driving when they left Gumbo’s. He was dropped off at home before the crash.

Copicut Road is a posted 30 MPH with no streetlights. Accident reconstruction conducted by Fall River Police showed that at the onset of the vehicle’s loss of control, it was traveling 80 MPH.

The defendant submitted an “unagreed plea” before Fall River Superior Court Judge Raffia Yessayam. His defense argued for a five year state prison term during the plea hearing. Assistant District Attorney Michael Cahillane recommended a five to 10 year state prison sentence. Judge Yessayam, after hearing from both sides, ordered the defendant incarcerated in a state prison for five to seven years.

“This is a tragic situation for both families,” District Attorney Quinn lamented. “It just again goes to show the grave harm that goes along with excessive drinking and driving.”
Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications