Man pleads not guilty to leaving scene of fatal pedestrian accident in Dedham

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DEDHAM, Massachusetts — A 21-year-old college student has pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of accident after police say his car struck and killed a woman in Dedham.

The attorney for Nicholas Rivas-Vasquez said in court Monday his client didn't realize he had hit anyone on the rainy night, and turned himself in to police when he saw news reports describing his car and the woman's death. Bail was set at $5,000.

Jean Heppler was found lying on a sidewalk on Washington Street at about 10:45 p.m. on Friday. Police said the 54-year-old Dedham woman was apparently trying to cross the street when she was struck in the southbound lane.

Rivas-Vasquez is a Mount Ida College student originally from Hamden, Connecticut. He lives in Boston.

Friends of Heppler are raising money for her 15-year-old daughter.

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