UPDATE: Manslaughter Charge Added to Case Against Hit-and-Run Driver

Greenwich Police say the Ridgefield suspect ignored pleas from the victim's friend to stop and drove off, dragging the victim who was pinned beneath the car. She later died.

The William Street municipal parking lot in the Byram section of Greenwich where a woman was struck by a car early Dec. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
The William Street municipal parking lot in the Byram section of Greenwich where a woman was struck by a car early Dec. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
This story was written by Barbara Heins, Patch Editor.

Update: 9:25 a.m. Dec. 31

A manslaughter charge has been added in the case against the Ridgefield driver arrested in connection with the Greenwich hit-and-run accident  that killed a 21-year-old college student.

According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, when Vyacheslav Cherepov appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford on Dec. 30, hours after his arrest by Greenwich Police, a second-degree manslaughter charge was lodged against him. He also faces the original charge of evading responsibility—death/serious injury.

Cherepov,  who lives on Danbury Road in Ridgefield and worked in a neighborhood restaurant, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held without bond. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 21, according to court records.
Updated: 2 p.m., Dec. 30:

A man from Ridgefield, who works for a Byram-area restaurant, has been arrested on a charge he hit a woman in a neighborhood parking lot early Saturday, stopped briefly and then drove away, dragging the victim who was caught beneath the car for four blocks.

According Greenwich Policespokesman Lt. Kraig Gray, Vyacheslav Cherepov, 26, of Ridgefield, was arrested late Sunday, Dec. 29, hours after police say they found the car they believed was involved in the 2 a.m. crash on Dec. 28 was back in the William Street municipal parking lot. It was in that parking lot that Meghan K. Beebe, 21, of upstate Middlebury, was struck by a red 2006 Pontiac G6 sedan.

According to Gray, a female companion of Beebe’s tried to stop the driver. It was then that Cherepov drove away with Beebe pinned beneath the car, Gray said. Police have said that Beebe was dragged through the parking lot, down William Street where Cherepov reportedly turned onto South Water Street and drove three blocks.

Beebe was found laying in the street — near Division Street — by an unidentified nearby resident. Beebe was brought to Stamford Hospital where she died hours later of her injuries. Gray said an autopsy was to be performed on Monday.

Meanwhile on Monday, Cherepov, who is a resident alien from Russia, was charged with evading responsibility: serious physical injury. He was to be arraigned Monday in state Superior Court in Stamford. He was in police custody, unable to post a court-set bond of $500,000.

Police did not identify Beebe’s companion. Gray said the women had been out in the neighborhood that is home to several restaurants and bars, some of which are within walking distance across the Mill Street bridge from Port Chester.

Gray also could not say which restaurant employed Cherepov. Gray said that police were able to identify the car that struck Beebe by using “pieces of the car” left at the accident scene. The Pontiac had been modified. Gray described it as a “low-rider with air scoops and an air ram.”

Asked whether alcohol played a role for either the driver or the victim, Gray said, “It would be premature for me to discuss this. “

Gray said, “She was out that evening with her friends.”  As the women were in the parking lot, the car struck Beebe. Her friend tried to stop the driver.

“She went and said ‘my God you just hit my friend’ to the driver of the car. The driver of the car, realizes what happens, pauses briefly, and then flees,” Gray said during a Monday press conference at Greenwich Police headquarters. “He drove right over her.” 

“It was a horrific accident … it doesn’t get much worse than this,” Gray said.

According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, Cherepov pleaded guilty to a 2007 a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of marijuana in state Superior Court in Danbury.

Updated: 11:12 a.m., Dec. 30:

Greenwich Police have arrested a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run crash in which a 21-year-old college student was killed after being dragged more than three blocks in the Byram section of Greenwich.

The suspect is identified as Vyacheslav Cherepov, 26, whose last known address is Danbury Road in Ridgefield. He was arrested Dec. 30 after police say the suspect vehicle, a red 2006 Pontiac G6 was found in the William Street parking lot where the crash initially occurred about 2 a.m. Dec. 28 when the victim was retrieving items from a car parked in the lot. Cherepov is charged with evading responsibility: serious injury. He is being held on a court-set bond of $500,000.

The victim has been identified as Meghan K. Beebe of Middlebury.

Patch will have more details as they become available.

Updated: 4:53 p.m., Dec. 29.

Greenwich Police say they determined the type of car involved in the weekend hit-and-run which crash which killed a 21-year-old college student in Byram.

In a statement released late Sunday afternoon, police said they have determined that the vehicle "is likely a Pontiac G6 Model Year 2005-2010 either burgundy or dark red in color." The victim was hit as she retrieved items from a car parked in the William Street municipal parking lot in Byram, dragged through the lot, down William Street onto South Water Street about 2 a.m. Dec. 27, police have said.

The woman was dragged more than three blocks down South Water Street before the driver apparently stopped near the former Hasco Electric Co.

Here is the police statement:
"We continue to investigate a fatal hit and run MV Pedestrian Accident that occurred Saturday morning in the Byram section of town located along the NY border and adjacent to I95.

"Investigation has determined the evading vehicle is likely a Pontiac G6 Model Year 2005-2010 either burgundy or dark red in color. The vehicle has tinted windows and is believed to be bearing front and rear Connecticut license plates."

Police still have not released the identity of the woman who they said is a college student originally from Middlebury.

Anyone with any information should contact the investigating officer, Traffic Technician Drenth at (203) 622-8014 or by email at tips@greenwichct.org

Updated: 7 p.m. Dec. 28.

The woman struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident in the Byram section of Greenwich has died.

And police are seeking public assistance in trying to find the driver of the car which left the woman in the street.

Witnesses say they saw numerous police and fire department units in the area videotaping the scene, with generators and trucks with powerful lights illuminating the scene as officers gathered evidence. 

Sand and salt spread throughout the neighborhood after roads were treated by the Greenwich Fire Department, before they were reopened to traffic, according to witnesses.

According to witnesses, police reviewed security videotapes to try and develop more information that could lead to the identity of the driver and the car.

Greenwich Police have released this update on what is now described as a fatal hit-and-run accident in the Byram section of Greenwich.

Here is the Greenwich Police statement issued late Saturday evening:

“The female pedestrian struck by a hit and run driver in Greenwich this morning has died of her injuries. She was a 21-year-old student from Middlebury, CT. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of family.

The victim was retrieving items from a vehicle parked in the William Street lot when the suspect vehicle entered the lot and struck her. The suspect stopped briefly and then fled the area dragging the victim beneath the car.

At this time, the make and model of the suspect vehicle is unknown. It is believed that its primary color is dark red or cranberry. It is low to the ground and may have tinted windows. 

The suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, with short brown buzzed cut hair. He is tan with good skin, brown eyes, and brown eyebrows. He is skinny and appears to be young. He was last wearing a long sleeved shirt with a gold chain and cross.

Anyone within information is asked to contact the Greenwich Police Department, Officer Roger Drenth, at 203-622-8014.

Original story: 1:06 p.m. Dec. 28:

Greenwich Police are investigating a hit-and-run incident in which a woman was dragged by a car through the streets of Byram early Saturday.

Here is the statement from Greenwich Police issued about 12:15 p.m., Dec. 28:

The Greenwich Police Department is investigating a serious motor vehicle collision in which a pedestrian was struck and dragged by a motor vehicle. After the collision the operator fled the scene. The incident took place at  approximately 2 AM December 28, 2013 within the William Street Parking Lot located in Byram Section of Town near the border of New York. The victim was transported to the Stamford Hospital's Emergency Room.  The victim is a female in her early twenty's and not a resident of Greenwich.

The accident remains under investigation and we are currently looking for the operator of the fleeing vehicle.

    • The suspect’s vehicle is simply described as a red sedan.  The vehicle is low to the ground with chrome wheels, the front air dam may be damaged. The vehicle should be bearing Connecticut plates on the front and rear.
    • The operator is described as male, light to medium complexion, dark short hair, wearing a long sleeve shirt and wearing a gold chain with a cross.

    Anyone with any information regarding this incident should contact the investigating officer, Traffic Technician Drenth at (203) 622-8014 or by email at tips@greenwichct.org

    According to several witnesses, South Water Street was closed from Mill Street for more than three blocks, past Division Street in the area of the former Hasco Electric Co.

    The trail of the accident could be seen late Saturday morning from the William Street muncipal parking lot, down the hill to Mill Street to the Hasco building. The roadways were coated with a thick of sand and there was a trail of the remnants of road flares along the scene.

    Greenwich Deputy Fire Chief Tom Nixon said fire personnel were called to the scene at 2:28 a.m. "to assist with traffic ... and just helped assist so the road could be reopened to traffic."

    The road was reopened about 10:30 a.m., however Greenwich Police Traffic Section superivisor Sgt. John Slusarz was still at the scene about noon. 

    Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said further details will be made available later Saturday.


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