Driver accused of hitting 11-year-old in Dorchester appears in court

BOSTON — The driver accused of hitting an 11-year-old boy last month appeared in a Dorchester court on Friday. The boy just got out of the hospital this week, and some of his family was in court for the arraignment of the suspect.

Luis Santiago walked into court but then was taken into custody. Prosecutors say Santiago is the driver who went around a stopped car and hit 11-year-old Francis Nedwell, sending him flying under a parked car and into an ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital for weeks.

Suffolk County Prosecutor Amanda Cascione described some of the injuries in court.

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“He had to go through three surgeries during the time he was there. As a result of the accident, he suffered a fractured nose, liver lacerations, six broken ribs, broken pelvis, small fracture on his skull,” Cascione said.

One of Francis’ aunts, Stephanie Santiago, said outside court the 11-year-old was released from Boston Children’s Hospital on Thursday.

“It took a while [for the arrest] but it is still not justice for me,” she said.

Prosecutors say Luis Santiago was driving a white SUV, which is registered to his wife. Boston Police released pics showing some of the damage to the car when they were trying to track it down.

“The defendant could have stopped on this day. He could have stopped and parked his car after he struck something, and he didn’t. He fled from the scene,” Cascione said.

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Prosecutors say they were able to put the suspect’s car at the scene of the crash at the time of the crash using surveillance cameras. One of the cameras captured the suspect taking a left from here onto Columbia.

In the police report, detectives said they also saw the white SUV passing through another nearby intersection. Boston Police have a camera near that area. According to the defense attorney, the suspect has four children who live with their mother, and he works full-time.

“Clearly from the situation, this was an accident, it was a tragic accident no matter who was operating,” said the attorney who was handling the bail in the case. “Even if he didn’t know he hit a child, I would suggest that the vehicle […] any person would have known they hit something,” ADA Cascione said.

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In court, we learned Santiago was already dealing with a gun charge in Dorchester. Santiago will be back in court now on both of the charges on November 1. Santiago bail was set at $1,000 and he is being held on the prior charge until November 1.