Jail Time For Pawtucket Woman Whose Friend Died in Crash
DARTMOUTH — A woman from Pawtucket, Rhode Island who got into a single-car crash that killed her friend while driving drunk in January 2021 has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail at Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said 27-year-old Zeyra Martinez pleaded guilty to a single count of motor vehicle homicide by OUI.
Martinez was driving her father's Honda Pilot eastbound on Route 195 in Rehoboth when she lost control of the car at around 1:50 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2021 — although she initially told police her friend had been driving.
As the car slid into the median it rolled, ejecting the 25-year-old passenger, Emerizialina Moreira, also of Pawtucket.
According to the D.A.'s office, a 911 caller reported seeing Martinez outside of the car, but state police arrived to find her in the front passenger seat.
She told the troopers that her friend had been driving, the office stated, and initial news reports stated that Moreira was the driver.
Both Martinez and Moreira were taken to Rhode Island Hospital.
The D.A.'s office said Martinez had a blood alcohol content of .21, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Moreira was put on life support and was pronounced dead four days later, on Jan. 20, 2021.
Investigators found that it was Martinez' birthday the night before the crash, and she had been celebrating with Moreira and her other friends before driving her boyfriend to pick up his car in Fall River.
The crash took place on their return trip.
A few days later, Martinez texted the victim's sister and confessed that she was actually the one driving.
She also made similar statements to other friends and gave a recorded statement to Allstate Insurance that she was driving at the time of the crash.
Martinez had no prior criminal record.
According to the D.A.'s office, the victim's family wanted Martinez take responsibility for the crash.
She will serve one and a half years of her two and a half year sentence in the Dartmouth jail, with the balance suspended for two years.