South Kingstown woman charged in fatal pedestrian hit-and-run

Leslie Morales is arraigned in Washington County District Court, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, on charges stemming from a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run crash. (WJAR)

South Kingstown police charged a woman with drunken driving in a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman walking along the road.

Leslie Morales, 29, of South Kingstown was arraigned Tuesday in Washington County District Court on the following charges:

  • Driving under the influence, death resulting
  • Driving to endanger, death resulting
  • Leaving the scene of an accident

Morales did not enter a plea, and the judge set her bail at $20,000 with surety.

Police said 75-year-old Mary Kemp of Wakefield was struck on Narragansett Avenue East at about 6 p.m. Monday. Officers reported that they received several calls about an erratic operator driving in that area.

"It just sounded like a bang, like a big bang, and that's all you heard for a little while. And then you heard sirens a little while after that," Frank Silva, the victim's neighbor, told NBC 10 News. “Yellow tape up, it looked like they had somebody on the ground.”

According to police, Morales was the person on the ground. She is facing her charges in Washington County court.

Kemp was transported to South County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. (Police previously reported her age as 72.)

A short time later, police found the vehicle believed to be involved about 100 feet into a wooded area. Two occupants were partially trapped.

Neighbors who rushed to the scene of the crash told NBC 10 that the victim was someone they always saw taking a walk down the road, just a few blocks from her home.

“Almost every day,” said Silva. “Everybody saw her.”

Neighbors remember Kemp as a kind-hearted woman.

“Every time you saw her, she waved to you,” Silva said. “She was always a friendly lady.”

Now, neighbors said they'll think twice before they let their loved ones walk down that road.

“I do not want them to walk up and down this road anymore. It's bad,” said Silva. “It doesn't seem like people get it around here with how fast they should go.”

Police haven't identified the second person believed to be in the car with the accused drunk driver.

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