Driver may have been doing 80 when he struck and killed woman crossing Morton Street, prosecutors say

A Dorchester man was ordered held in lieu of $5,000 cash bail Tuesday on charges he drunkenly ran down a woman crossing Morton Street Saturday night.

Johnette Sims, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene on Morton Street eastbound near Canterbury Street after the 10:30 p.m. crash. Anthony Buchanan, 39, who was doing up to 80, stopped "for a couple of seconds," then drove away down the ramp to American Legion Highway - after activating his directional - Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Tai Antoine said at his arraignment in West Roxbury District Court.

One witness saw "numerous items tossed in the air" on impact, Antoine said, adding Sims was crossing the eastbound side of Morton in a crosswalk from the median when struck.

State Police were able to quickly identify Buchanan, thanks to a scooter driver who had a helmet camera that recorded the crash and the car's license plate - after Buchanan nearly plowed into him - Antoine said. The plate number led them to an Enterprise car-rental station in Dorchester, which in turn pointed them to the home of Buchanan's mother, a minister at a Dorchester church.

Buchanan was not home when State Police knocked on the door, but his mother was, she said. Around 1 a.m., Buchanan, accompanied by his mother, turned himself in at Boston Police District B-3 on Blue Hill Avenue.

Under questioning by State Police detectives, Antoine said, Buchanan acknowledged he'd been at a cookout drinking Remy before the crash. He also told the where they could find his rented Dodge Charger - on Mt. Pleasant Street. He refused to take field-sobriety and breath tests, she said, adding that officers involved in his interrogation detected a strong odor of alcohol.

Antoine asked for $15,000 bail.

Buchanan's attorney, Christopher Belezos, requested lower bail.

He acknowledged that Buchanan, an accountant at the AIDS Action Committee and a volunteer for several local groups, did drive away from the scene, but noted he then turned himself in. And he told police where they could find his car and offered them his phone in case they needed its GPS information, he said. That, his local roots - he's an English High graduate - and the presence of 18 or 20 supporters in the courtroom showed he would not flee his court dates, Belezos said.

"It's a very tragic situation; he hasn't tried to hide from it," Christopher Belezos said. "He's not a threat at this point."

Members of Sims's family and friends also attended the arraignment.

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll cited the seriousness of the charges in setting bail.



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