The driver charged in a fatal hit-and-run in Westbrook last week told police she had a green light immediately before the crash, but a witness told officers that her SUV sped toward a yellow light that then turned red.

The differing accounts are described in police reports filed in Cumberland County Unified Court in support of the arrest of Natasha D. Field, 32, of Standish, who is charged with aggravated leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and violation of a condition of release.

The victim, Sharon Crawford, 51, of Westbrook, was returning to her nearby home and crossing William Clarke Drive at the intersection with Stroudwater Street when she was struck and killed by an SUV traveling on William Clarke Drive toward Gorham, police said.

Crawford was pronounced dead at the scene after the 7:15 p.m. crash Sept. 26.

The car involved was later identified as a 2003 Jeep Liberty, traced to Field and seized as evidence. Field appeared in court Friday and was ordered held on $2,500 bail. She was released on bail from the Cumberland County Jail on Friday evening.

After the crash, police interviewed Joshua Roberson, who told officers he was on his front porch on Stroudwater Street looking toward the intersection when he saw the SUV strike and kill Crawford, and reported that traffic along Stroudwater had a green light at the time.

“(Roberson) couldn’t identify the suspect or vehicle, but he observed that traffic on Stroudwater Street (the cross street) had a green light as the suspect vehicle passed through the intersection (on William Clarke Drive) at about 40 miles per hour striking the pedestrian,” Sgt. Timothy Gardner wrote. “I later learned that in his brief conversation with Captain (Sean) Lally, Roberson also said that he heard the suspect vehicle’s engine rev up prior to entering the intersection in an apparent effort to beat the yellow light.”

In an interview, Field told officers that she was not distracted immediately before the crash.

“She was also adamant that she had a green light when she passed through the intersection,” Gardner wrote. “I confronted Field with the eyewitness account that contradicted hers; specifically that she ran a red light. She paused to think, but maintained her version that her light was green.” Crawford’s precise location in the intersection at the time of the crash is still under investigation.

Field’s attorney, Amy Fairfield, declined to address the issue of the traffic light.

“This is a terrible tragedy all the way around,” Fairfield said.

The documents also describe how police identified Field through witnesses who said the vehicle involved had left the nearby Hannaford supermarket before the crash.

Police used surveillance footage from inside the store to identify Field and her purchases that night, which were made with an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. Police contacted the Department of Health and Human Services, which matched the transaction record for the EBT card to identify Field.

Officers also interviewed Field’s boyfriend, Louis Oppenheimer, who told them that Field called him after the crash, said she hit something after going through an intersection on a green light, but that she didn’t know what it was.

He also said Field told him that she pulled over at the scene, but that a man told Field she was all set, so she left.

“(Oppenheimer) reiterated what he’d previously told me and added that (Field) offered to some man to call 9-1-1 while she was at the crash scene,” Gardner wrote.

The man Field spoke with is not identified in the reports, and no one else makes reference to him.

Another witness, Charissa Robert, who was waiting to make a left onto Stroudwater Street from the eastbound lanes of William Clarke Drive when she saw the crash, told investigators that she saw the SUV stop after the intersection but speed away when bystanders went to help Crawford, who had been thrown from the impact.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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