Suspect wanted in deadly Westport hit-and-run surrenders to police

WESTPORT, MASS. (WHDH) - A Fall River man wanted in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Westport earlier this month that left a 30-year-old woman dead has surrendered to police, officials said.

Gerard Lugo, 54, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the May 7 crash that killed Stephanie Tripp, of Fall River, Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

He is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Fall River District court on numerous criminal charges, including leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and driving with a suspended license.

“That was kind of a relief,” said the victim’s friend, Jennifer Terry. “I mean, it’s not going to bring her back, but at least he had the decency to turn himself in. He should have stayed (at the scene) and said, ‘Hey listen, I missed up.’ Whatever the case was at least own up to it, not just take off.”


Stephanie Tripp. Courtesy Bristol District Attorney Office.

After locating the suspect vehicle last week, police say they executed a search warrant at Lugo’s apartment on Cherry Street and found 200 grams of heroin.

As a result, he will face an additional charge of trafficking heroin in excess of 100 grams.

Westport police officers responding to a reported pedestrian crash in the area of 288 Old Bedford Road about 8:15 p.m. on May 7 found Tripp suffering from serious injuries. She was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she remained in critical condition until she died on May 16.

A preliminary investigation suggests Tripp was walking along the side of the roadway when she was struck by a BMW.

No additional information was immediately available.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7News on-air and online for the latest developments.

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