A Massachusetts woman has been charged with motor vehicle homicide, among other criminal counts, after police allege she fatally injured a pedestrian on Monday while driving away from a gas station with the man hanging half out of her SUV.
Susan Dixon, of Worcester, was arrested later the same day as the Christmas morning crash after allegedly fleeing the scene of the incident at a local gas station, PEOPLE confirms.
According to a Worcester police news release, investigators suspect Dixon, 58, “drove the vehicle to [a gas station] and spoke with the victim in the parking lot.”
“The victim reached into the vehicle to give her something when she suddenly drove away, with the victim half in the vehicle,” police allege. “Ms. Dixon backed into a fence, and then drove into the light pole.”
Officers responded about 5:30 a.m. and found a downed traffic light and onlookers attempting CPR on the unidentified victim, a 33-year-old man.
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The victim “suffered injuries to his neck, chest and abdomen” and was pronounced dead soon after being hospitalized, according to police.
Dixon allegedly abandoned her “severely damaged” SUV about a third of a mile away as she was “unable to drive” it anymore, police said.
She was arrested at her home and charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of leaving the scene of property damage, leaving the scene after causing personal injury or death and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license (second or subsequent), a prosecutor’s spokeswoman says.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday if Dixon and the pedestrian knew each other prior to his death, though police noted in their news release that they were familiar with the vehicle involved from “previous incidents.”
Police also said Dixon was often the driver of the SUV.
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A Worcester police spokesman referred further questions to the district attorney’s office and a spokeswoman there was not able to comment beyond confirming the charges and other basic details. She declined to discuss the relationship between Dixon and the victim, if any.
Dixon was arraigned on Tuesday, according to court officials, where a judge entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf and she was ordered held on a $35,000 cash bail.
It was unclear if she has retained an attorney who could comment on her behalf or if she remained behind bars following her arraignment.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach her directly were unsuccessful.