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Prosecutor seeks dangerousness hearing for driver in crash that killed Peabody girl

Selvin Manuel Lima, 23, of Lawrence was arraigned in his hospital bed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for causing the death of an 11-year-old Peabody girl. (Photo courtesy of WBZ-TV)

SALEM — If the Essex County District Attorney gets his way, a 23-year-old man accused of causing a horrific crash that killed a Peabody girl will remain in prison until trial.

Selvin Manuel Lima will face a judge next month as DA Jonathan Blodgett tries to convince the court to keep the Lawrence man locked up under the state’s dangerousness statute. 

“We think he’s dangerous,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a DA spokeswoman. 

Typically, a defendant is released with a promise to return to court or if they pay bail imposed by the judge. But in extreme cases, prosecutors can seek to hold the suspect to assure the public’s safety.

Lima remains at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was arraigned in a hospital bed with serious injuries this week. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly causing the death of 11-year-old Taysha Rohena Silva, whose family’s Honda Civic was stuck head-on by Lima. Authorities say he was evading police. 

Silva was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital Saturday night where she was pronounced dead. Four others, including her 8-old sister, her mother, 29, her mother’s boyfriend, 27, and a 15-year-old cousin were also in the car. They remain in various Boston hospitals with serious injuries.

The car was hit at the intersection of Andover Street and Winthrop Avenue, according to police. 

The DA’s office said Lima was operating a white 2009 Infiniti G37 when he was stopped by police at the intersection of South Union and Winthrop streets for speeding and erratic operation. The police report said as the officer approached the car, Lima fled. Police chose not to pursue him. 

Minutes later, police allege he turned onto Route 114, and as he approached the intersection of Winthrop and Andover streets crossed over to the southbound side and struck the other car.

Lima is charged with motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, manslaughter, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, failure to stop for police, speeding, and a marked lanes violation. 

“The officer who responded to the motor vehicle accident described it as horrific,” said a prosecutor according to a transcript of the arraignment. “He couldn’t even begin to figure out who he could help first. He immediately requested four to five ambulances.”

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