No bail for mom charged in school bus crash

Woonsocket police say Melissa Esconmilha struck a school bus and left the scene.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A woman charged in connection with a school bus crash was arraigned Friday and ordered held without bail.

According to police, the accident happened just after 8:30 a.m. Thursday on Willow Street in Woonsocket. Police said a bus that was carrying 31 children between 7 and 11 years old collided with a car driven by 29-year-old Melissa Escomilha.

Moments after the accident, neighbors ran out to see the school bus stopped, but the car that hit it trying to get away.

“She got out of the car for a second, said her child was bleeding, then got in the car and just left,” said witness Jessie Heffner. “The little girl was screaming ‘I don’t want mommy to get in trouble’.”

Five of the students on the bus were taken to Landmark Medical Center with minor injuries.

A police report obtained by Eyewitness News stated an officer responding to the bus crash noticed a woman with bruises on her face walking down Willow Street with a child. The officer attempted to approach to the woman, who allegedly grabbed her child and ran away. Once he arrived on scene, the officer said he quickly realized the woman walking down the road was the driver of one of the vehicles involved in the crash.

Police tracked down Escomilha who attempted to run again, but this time an officer was able to stop her. She is facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended license, simple assault, and obstruction.

Escomilha was taken to Landmark Medical Center for neck, head, and back injuries when police said she became belligerent with officers, even throwing her neck brace at them and yelling obscenities at police, hospital staff, and the children injured in the crash.

As she was escorted from the hospital to a police cruiser, a police report states she mule kicked one of the officers.

According to court records, this is not Melissa Escomilha’s first arrest. The 29-year-old mother has been arrested several times and most recently was released from the ACI in August.

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