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May 2, 2013

hit-and-run case reaches plea deal

Newburyport: Elyssa Davis was struck while jogging last fall

NEWBURYPORT — A New Hampshire man agreed Tuesday to pay the medical expenses of 23-year-old Elyssa Davis of Newburyport as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors allege he struck Davis with his Jeep on Storey Avenue near Interstate 95 and continued onto the highway without stopping.

Oliver Sheridan, 42, of Raymond, N.H., admitted to sufficient facts yesterday in Newburyport District Court that he negligently operated his Jeep when slamming into Davis on Sept. 25. By admitting to sufficient facts, the charge against him was continued without finding until Jan. 30, 2014. Should Sheridan stay out of trouble and adhere to conditions applied by Judge Peter Doyle, the charge against him will be dropped.

Sheridan was initially charged with leaving scene of an accident with personal injury, but that charge was dropped in favor of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle complaint.

In addition to paying Davis $3,400 to cover medical expenses, Sheridan must complete a State Courts Against Road Rage course, pay $250 to the state’s Head Injury Fund and $50 to the Victim-Witness Fund.

Yesterday, Davis said she was pleased with the result.

“And I’m glad he stepped forward,” she said.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Davis, a naturalist at the Joppa Flats Audubon Center, was jogging along Route 113 around 5:45 p.m. when she crossed the entrance to Interstate 95 north and was struck by Sheridan, according to police.

Looking for oncoming cars before crossing the entryway, Davis waved at the driver to let him know she was crossing. But instead of slowing down and stopping, the driver sped up. The force of the collision spun Davis around and hurled her to the other side of the entrance. Instead of stopping to see if she was all right, the motorist fled down the ramp and blended into the highway traffic.

Three other motorists stopped to help the 5-foot-3-inch, 140-pound Davis, who was waving for help with one hand while holding on to her flopping right leg with the other.

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