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80-year-old using a walker dies in Cambridge hit-and-run crash

Cambridge police investigated the death of a woman who was struck on Erie Street.
Cambridge police investigated the death of a woman who was struck on Erie Street.(Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)

CAMBRIDGE — An 80-year-old woman was killed in a hit-and-run crash Thursday in the parking lot of an apartment complex, officials said.

The woman was pushing a wheeled walker when she was struck shortly after noon at the L.B. Johnson Apartments on Erie Street. She was taken to Cambridge Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

On Thursday evening, the Middlesex district attorney’s office said that Ashley Monturio , 41, of Pembroke, was arrested at the Cambridge police station and charged with leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the fatal hit-and-run. Monturio was allegedly behind the wheel of a white Infiniti SUV when she struck Romelia Gallardo , who lived at the apartment complex, authorities said.

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Monturio is expected to be arraigned Friday in Cambridge District Court.

Police found Gallardo on the ground in a parking lot located to the side of the apartment complex, authorities said.

Betty Smith, who lived on the same floor as Gallardo, said she was known for dressing sharply and taking daily walks to Central Square to buy groceries.

“She always left out the back door. So it was just a normal day and then, she just . . . ” Smith said, her voice trailing off.

The apartment complex is home to elderly and disabled residents. Erie Street, a thickly settled one-way road in the city’s Cambridgeport section, was closed to traffic after the crash.

Residents said they were shaken, and outraged that the driver left the scene.

“People are so aggressive in their cars,” said Patsy Ramsey, a 69-year-old retired nurse. “They think they can do whatever they want.”

Ramsey, who lives in the neighborhood, said “there are rules for everybody, and there are people here who don’t think they have to abide by the rules.”

“People really don’t care about us,” said Marion Freeman, who lives in the apartment complex.

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“They see the elderly and think we don’t have much time left anyways.”

Dennis Graham, 68, a retired bicycle courier who lives in the neighborhood, said the driver “had no honor.”

“If you hit somebody, you have to stop,” he said.

E. Denise Simmons, a Cambridge city councilor who owns an insurance agency less than a block from the crash site, said it was a tragedy.

“I’m sure this shakes the whole neighborhood, because everyone wants to feel that they’re safe,” she said.

The precise location of the crash was not clear.

Diana Dumit, 23, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student who lives on Erie Street, said the road is usually quiet. “Cars usually pass by here really slowly,” she said. “This is very weird.”

Roy Vasser, 65, who lives down the block from the complex, said he often chats with residents when they walk by.

“It worries me because I probably know her,” he said. “The elderly walk by here all the time, and I know them by their walkers.”

Vasser was in his apartment when the crash happened, but didn’t hear anything.

Vasser said the elderly have always had trouble crossing Erie Street, pointing to a “Caution Seniors” road sign.

“A lot of good that’s done,” he said.

Jerome Campbell of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald
@globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.