SALISBURY — With family members and friends of hit-and-run victim Rebecca Bartczak watching, a judge on Tuesday ordered a man accused of killing her with his truck Friday night held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Dec. 1.
Deven Tanguay, 32, of Tewksbury was charged with motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, leaving the scene of personal injury/collision with death resulting, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation.
He was arrested Tuesday morning by local police with the help of Woburn police and the Massachusetts Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section only hours after a warrant was issued.
Tanguay is charged with striking Bartczak while she was riding her bicycle on Folly Mill Road about 11:30 p.m. Friday and then driving off before police arrived. Bartczak, 39, of Lonvale Lane in Amesbury was pronounced dead at the scene.
Many of her loved ones were crying before and after a silent Tanguay was brought into the courtroom at Newburyport District Court about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Following Judge Allen Swan’s order that Tanguay be held without bail until the hearing, someone clapped loudly. That hearing will be held to determine whether he poses too great a risk to be granted bail while awaiting trial.
Minutes before the arraignment, Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy was seen speaking to Bartczak’s family about what would happen in court while Salisbury police Lt. Richard Dellaria and Sgt. Keith Forget watched.
Forget was one of many local and area police officers who responded to the front yard of 81 Folly Mill Road where Bartczak’s body was found.
Police also found several parts of a vehicle scattered in the road and an orange bicycle in the yard. The force of the crash shattered Bartczak’s bike helmet, which was found in pieces close to the bicycle.
Laying nearby was a camper that had become dislodged from the top of the pickup that struck and killed her, according to Forget’s report.
“It was obvious that whoever or whatever vehicle struck the victim, fled the scene with no regard for the victim’s injuries, and lost the camper off the back of their vehicle in the process of leaving the scene,” Forget wrote in the report.
Police were able to determine the vehicle parts belonged to a Chevrolet pickup with front-end damage. A description of the truck was broadcast to area police departments.
Police were also able to determine the truck was traveling east when it crossed over to the westbound side of the road “and even into the dirt shoulder next to the westbound lane where Rebecca was struck,” Forget wrote.
“The tire tread mark impressions then swerve back to the right towards the eastbound lane. At some point when the operator was trying to recover the vehicle to its correct lane, it struck the mailbox at 85 Folly Mill Road before losing the camper from the back of the truck,” Forget wrote, adding that it appeared Bartczak was riding along the westbound shoulder and traveling west when she was struck.
About a half hour after Forget arrived at the crash scene, he was told the truck had been stopped by Hampton Falls police in Kensington, New Hampshire.
Salisbury police K-9 Officer Michael Tullercash and his dog, Chapo, responded to 111 South Road in Kensington to examine the truck.
Tanguay, who police said did not appear to be impaired by alcohol or drugs, was outside the truck. Police said they quickly found human evidence on the truck.
Forget drove to South Road and noticed the truck had four chained hooks that would be used to secure a camper to the bed. He also determined there was “no way” Tanguay could not have known he had struck and perhaps killed someone with his truck.
“After striking and killing Rebecca, Deven did not stop to check her condition, or attempt to exchange any identifying information with her despite her being deceased,” Forget wrote in his report.
While police checked the truck, Tanguay appeared “carefree, calm and cooperative. He did not show any signs of concern or distress that he had just hit and killed another person who was simply riding their bike along Folly Mill Road,” Forget added.
The truck was impounded but because Tanguay declined to answer questions and was in New Hampshire at the time his truck was stopped, police let him leave, according to Forget’s report.
For the next few days, local police investigated the crash, aided by the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, New Hampshire State Police and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
A check of Tanguay’s criminal past showed 18 entries in his Board of Probation record, including two charges of leaving the scene after property damage, numerous drug convictions, assault and battery charges and weapons charges. He also repeatedly defaulted on court appearances and violated probation conditions, according to court records.
Police believe prior to hitting Bartczak, Tanguay had driven from Amesbury where he struck another truck on Elm Street and did not stop, according to Forget.
Based on his investigations, Forget applied for and received an arrest warrant for Tanguay on Monday.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.