FALL RIVER (WBSM) — A Fall River man has been sentenced in relation to a 2020 motor vehicle crash in Westport that killed a 10-year-old New Bedford girl.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Robert Silvia, 33, pled guilty to a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and was sentenced to two and a half years in the Bristol County House of Corrections, with 18 months to serve.

On September 13, 2020, at approximately 2:15 a.m., Anilda De Barros Ribeiro, 10, was the backseat passenger in a Subaru traveling on route 6 in Westport. According to reports, the Subaru had been in a minor fender bender with a Toyota Tundra, and both vehicles had parked in the left lane with hazard lights on while the drivers inspected the damage.

As they returned to their vehicles, Silvia's SUV allegedly struck the Subaru, killing the 10-year-old.

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The mother of the child allegedly suffered blunt force head and neck injuries due to the impact as well.

Silvia was traveling at 53 miles per hour in a 50 zone with no evidence of braking, swerving or any manipulation of the vehicle before impact, according to police.

Silvia made statements about not seeing the vehicle during the time of the crash and that he lost control of the car because of a hand injury. Investigation revealed that Silvia admitted to reaching for a cigarette and lighter at the time of the collision.

According to police, here was no evidence that Silvia intentionally caused the crash or was under the influence of any substance. The police accident reconstruction experts, however, found that Silvia should have been able to see or avoid striking the Subaru for at least 300 feet before impact.

Silvia pled guilty on October 30.

"This was a terrible tragedy that occurred because of the defendant's negligence," D.A. Thomas Quinn said. "I hope that the victim's family can have some consolation and closure from the defendant's guilty plea, admitting that he caused the young girl's death. The jail sentence imposed by the court was appropriate."

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