NEW BEDFORD — An Acushnet woman faces multiple charges are she struck a parked vehicle, a building and almost struck a group of people in a religious procession Sunday afternoon.

Sharon Lee Fernandes, 65, of 68 Lambert Street in Acushnet was charged with OUI drugs, failure to stop for police, failure to use care in passing and leaving the scene of a property damage accident after her car struck a parked vehicle right around noon this afternoon.

The incident happened in the area of Acushnet Avenue and Perry Street. After striking the parked car, Fernandes drove in the direction of the procession. When the car reached 137 Perry Street, the vehicle jumped the curb and struck the front of the building.

Police say the vehicle did make contact with three people. One person was transported to St. Luke's Hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries. Two people did not require medical treatment.

Ward 2 City Councillor Maria Giesta was part of the procession, along with State Representative Antonio Cabral, Ward 6 Councillor Joe Lopes and former Councillor David Alves, and said she saw the woman’s vehicle strike two women who were walking in the procession.

“As a matter of fact, one of the women was in a wheelchair,” Giesta said. “It was a frightening moment because we did not know if the driver was having a seizure or if she was drunk.”

Giesta praised the quick action of Sgt. Josh Fernandes and the New Bedford Police Department, and the people in the procession “who saved lives by pushing them out of the car’s way.”

“I also want to thank a gentleman who was watching the procession from across the street, and ran over to the car and pulled the keys out of the ignition, because the woman kept her foot on the gas,” she said.


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