'Adored' College Student Is Killed in Crash — and Driver Is Accused of Speeding and Fleeing

A 20-year-old Rhode Island college student is dead after the car she was riding in flipped in East Boston, killing her and injuring another passenger — while the driver allegedly fled the scene.

Amber Pelletier of Central Falls was pronounced dead at the scene of the deadly rollover crash at about 1:15 a.m. on May 5, the Boston Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.

An accomplished dancer and cheerleader, Pelletier had just finished her junior year at St. Leo University in Florida, her obituary says.

Another female passenger was injured and taken to a local hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, say police.

The driver, Dylan Etheridge, 22, of Boston, allegedly fled the scene after the crash, say police.

After police located Etheridge eight hours later, he was arrested and charged with homicide by motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal Injury and leaving the scene of an accident after causing property damage, say police.

Etheridge was arraigned in East Boston Municipal Court on May 6 and pleaded not guilty.

In court Monday, prosecutor Nathan McGregor alleged Etheridge was speeding at rates of 80 to 90 mph on Bennington St., a major thoroughfare in East Boston, before the fatal crash, prosecutor Nathan McGregor said in court Monday, CBS Boston reports.

His Mazda hit a curb, sending it crashing into several parked cars and a cement planter in the median before landing on its roof, NBC Boston reports.

Both passengers had their seat belts on and were hanging upside down in the car when emergency workers found them in the twisted wreckage.

But Etheridge was gone, McGregor said.

Calling the crash “a tragic accident,” Etheridge’s attorney, Peter Marano said his client grew up with the two passengers in his car and that he ran to get help, CBS Boston reports.

Etheridge was released on $1,000 bail. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and avoid alcohol, CBS Boston reports.

He is scheduled to return to court on June 14 for a probable cause hearing.

Fatal Victim Was Psychology Major

After graduating from Rhode Island’s La Salle Academy in 2016, Pelletier headed to St. Leo University, where she majored in psychology and minored in education.

She planned to attend graduate school and then pursue a career counseling children in hospital settings, her obituary says.

“As a young girl and throughout college, she participated regionally and nationally in cheerleading and dance,” her obituary says. “She participated in the Patriots Junior Cheerleading program and for many years was with the Dance Theater of Rhode Island in Cumberland. She was a National Grand Champion in dance competition. She worked hard throughout college and when at home on school breaks, was adored by children at her job with Dr. Daycare.”

She leaves behind a close-knit family and a devoted boyfriend. “Her very special pets were Snoopy, Kitty and Chanel,” her obituary says.

Anyone with information about the crash should contact the Boston Police Department’s Fatal Collision Investigative Team at 617-343-6135.

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