New Bedford Woman Sentenced to Prison for 2015 Manslaughter OUI in Dartmouth

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office 

Thomas M. Quinn III 

District Attorney

Press Release 

March 1, 2017

A 28-year-old New Bedford woman who two years ago struck and killed a 77-year-old Dartmouth woman with her car while under the influence of drugs was sentenced Monday in Fall River Superior Court to serve five to six years in state prison.

April Pimental pleaded guilty on Monday to an indictment charging her with Manslaughter by OUI.

On July 21, 2015, at 7:30 pm, Dartmouth Police were dispatched to the area of the Dartmouth High School for a motor vehicle that had struck a pedestrian.  Upon arrival, police observed the victim, Hortense Medeiros, had sustained multiple injuries including a broken right leg and severe head trauma.  At the time, the victim was 77 years old and was known to be a frequent walker in the area.  Police observed the defendant standing next to her 1996 Toyota Camry. 

Witnesses reported and a police investigation revealed the defendant was traveling south on Russell Mills Road, crossed the centerline, mounted the east sidewalk, and struck the pedestrian before then striking a tree.  Several witnesses reported extreme erratic driving in which the defendant crossed over into the oncoming lane of travel and almost collided with other vehicles. 

The victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries two days later.  The autopsy report listed the cause of death as multiple and traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact.  The victim sustained injuries to her head, torso, and lower extremities. 

The defendant, while being interviewed at the Dartmouth Police Station, admitted to using heroin earlier in the day and consented to have her blood drawn.  A toxicology report showed the defendant tested positive for opiates, benzodiazepines, and cannabis.  During an interview with police, the defendant’s parents stated they had an argument with defendant about her going to rehab prior to the crash.

During Monday’s plea hearing, Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn argued for a five to seven year state prison sentence, while the defendant requested a five year state prison term.

“This was a very tragic but preventable incident.  The 77 year old victim was merely enjoying her regular walk when the defendant drove onto the sidewalk, striking and killing her,” District Attorney Quinn lamented.  “The defendant was under the influence of narcotics and did not belong behind the wheel of a car.  Unfortunately, it cost the victim her life.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications