2d teen in Somerville crash dies of injuries

The site of a car crash in Somerville early Friday that has claimed the lives of two girls, one 16 and the other 17. The site of a car crash in Somerville early Friday that has claimed the lives of two girls, one 16 and the other 17. (Matt Byrne for The Boston Globe)
By Travis Andersen and Sean Teehan
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / April 25, 2011

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A car crash in Somerville that killed one teenager early Friday has claimed the life of a second victim, and authorities say the driver of the vehicle is responsible for both deaths.

State Police spokesman David Procopio said the second girl, whom he identified as a 17-year-old from Somerville, succumbed to her injuries on Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

She was one of five passengers in a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu that crashed on an elevated section of McGrath Highway about 3:30 a.m., according to State Police. A 16-year-old girl from Everett was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither of the teens was wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

Neither victim’s name has been released, but a makeshift memorial at the crash site included farewell messages addressed to the teens by name. Bright-colored stuffed animals and flower bouquets also marked the site.

Louis Baldi, the principal of Everett High School, did not identify the victim from Everett but confirmed in a phone interview that she was a student there.

He said grief counselors would be available for students today and that the Everett victim was the first student at the school who has died during his four years as principal.

State Police said speed and alcohol were believed to be factors in the crash.

The driver, Kenneth W. Belew, 21, of Somerville, will face two counts of motor vehicle homicide, drunken driving, speeding, and a marked lane violation Procopio said. Belew is scheduled to be arraigned today in Somerville District Court.

According to Registry of Motor Vehicles records, Belew was granted a license in December 2007 and was cited less than a month later in Somerville for speeding, a marked lane violation, and failure to stop for police. In all, Belew has been cited seven times for incidents including speeding, lane violations, driving without an inspection sticker, and a seat belt infraction.

His license was reinstated after each of four suspensions, most recently on June 17 after he paid a fee, records show. In two instances, Belew passed classes to regain driving privileges.

Three other passengers who were wearing seat belts during the crash sustained minor injuries, State Police said. They were identified as Jerry Altidor, 21, of Somerville; Rafaela Pereira, 19, of Everett; and Rudolph Reis, 20, of Somerville.

Travis Andersen can be reached at; Sean Teehan can be reached at