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Man pleads not guilty in crash that killed pedestrian

A Mattapan man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he struck and killed a pedestrian last year while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Dervin Hibbert, 53, allegedly struck Walter Harris, 48, also of Mattapan, on Nov. 23, 2013, according to a statement from the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

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The incident occurred when Harris was standing on the sidewalk on Cummins Highway near Ridlon Road in Mattapan at about 8:30 p.m. Hibbert pulled into the nearby parking lane, then accelerated in reverse, Conley’s office said.

Hibbert’s vehicle traveled onto the sidewalk for several car lengths, striking Harris and dragging him for several feet, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Mingo said. Hibbert was traveling at a high speed and knocked a fire hydrant from its mounting, the district attorney’s office said. Harris was killed instantly.

When he attempted to drive away, Hibbert was stopped by witnesses, Conley’s office said. He became hysterical when told he had struck Harris and was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, according to the statement. Blood tests indicated that Hibbert had a blood-alcohol level of .14, Conley’s office said.

The legal limit in Massachusetts is .08. At .14, a person experiences “significant impairments in all driving skills,” according to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.

Hibbert pleaded not guilty Friday in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of manslaughter by motor vehicle and motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence. The combined minimum mandatory terms for the charges is six years.

Hibbert is being held on $5,000 cash bail and, if he posts bail, has been ordered to surrender his passport and not to drive.

He is scheduled to return to court Sept. 9; his trial is scheduled for July 20, 2015.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.
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