DA: Hit-and-run driver arrested for fatally striking woman walking with son in Seekonk

SEEKONK, MASS. (WHDH) - Police have arrested a Rhode Island man accused of fatally hitting a woman with his car in Seekonk before driving away from the scene Thursday evening.

Jeremy Schmidt, 27, of East Providence, was taken into custody around 4:30 a.m. Friday by Rhode Island State Police, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Neighbors say they are in shock after learning that prosecutors allege Schmidt drove up on the sidewalk when he hit and killed 37-year-old Antonieta Vargas, of Seekonk, while she was walking with her 10-year-old son just a few doors down from her home.

They say she regularly walked with her son at night.

“It’s just tragic for her son to witness it,” a neighbor said. “He ran over to his mom but by the time we showed up he was laying next to her holding her hand, you know ‘mom’, trying to revive her or whatnot you know to talk to her.”

Neighbors say Schmidt stopped briefly after hitting Vargas but then drove away.

“He kind of swerved over, hit her, he pulled up a little ways further, the guy who I told you about earlier, coming the opposite direction in his truck kind of pulled over to the side, yelled at him to stop and stay right there and then the other guy took off.”

Police say they got a lot of help from neighbors who gave them their security footage. One driver says he gave chase and gave police dashcam video of the driver getting away.

Schmidt was tracked down by police at a friend’s house in Rhode Island, where he surrendered without incident.

He waived rendition Friday morning in Rhode Island and is being transported back to Massachusetts for an arraignment in Taunton District Court Monday on charges of leaving the scene — death resulting, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and committing a marked lanes violation.

Prosecutors say Schmidt has a previous history of problems with alcohol and has a court record with Rhode Island.

The case remains under investigation by Massachusetts State Police, Seekonk Police and Rhode Island State Police.

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