Fall River man sentenced in 2020 crash that killed 10-year-old New Bedford girl

Local News

Robert Silvia pled guilty to a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.

A Fall River man was sentenced to serve jail time in connection with a 2020 crash that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old New Bedford girl, prosecutors announced. 

Robert Silvia, 33, pled guilty to a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation on October 30 before his trial was set to begin, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office. 

Prosecutors said that around 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2020, Anilda De Barros Ribeiro was in the back seat of her father’s Suburu, which was stopped in the left travel lane of Route 6 in Westport. They’d been in a minor fender bender with another car, and both vehicles were in the left lane with their hazard lights flashing as the drivers checked for damage, according to the DA’s office. 

The drivers had both just gotten back into their cars, when prosecutors say a Jeep driven by Silvia struck the Suburu. The 10-year-old girl was killed in the crash.

The DA’s office said during the course of the investigation into the crash, it was determined that Silvia was lying about his locations prior to the crash. The prosecutors said investigators determined the 33-year-old was driving 53 mph in a 50 mph zone when he struck the parked vehicles and found that he made no attempt to change lanes even though there was another lane available to him. 

“There is no evidence the defendant intentionally caused the crash or was under the influence of any substance, but state police accident reconstruction experts found the defendant would have been able to see and stop or avoid striking the Subaru for at least 300 feet prior to impact,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “There was no evidence of braking, swerving, or any manipulation of the vehicle prior to impact. … This was a case of negligence, that the defendant failed to show due care while driving and that the lack of attention to the roadway caused the death of the victim.”

Silvia was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in Bristol County House of Corrections, with 18 months to serve, according to the DA’s office. The one-year balance of the sentence was suspended and his driver’s license was revoked for 15 years.