Police: Driver in deadly Manton Ave. hit-and-run in custody

Mustafa Lynch, 69, of Providence, is charged in a deadly hit-and-run in which a motorcycle rider was struck by a van and dragged for several miles. (Photos: WPRI-TV/Providence Police)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The driver wanted in connection with a deadly hit-and-run over the weekend is facing charges.

Police confirmed Mustafa Lynch, 69, of Providence, was arraigned Monday on a charge of with leaving the scene of an accident, death resulting. However, they said further charges could be forthcoming.

Police said Lynch was driving a van that struck Christopher Lucero, who was riding a motorcycle on Manton Avenue around 9 p.m. Saturday.

The van dragged Lucero for several blocks then took off from the scene, police said. Lucero died from his injuries. The sprawling crime scene forced police to essentially shut down a portion of the Olneyville section of the city.

On Sunday, police said they located the van involved in the hit-and-run at a local mosque.

In court Monday, Lynch’s attorney said his client may not have known he had been involved in a collision because the damage to his van was minimal.

However, the judge was dismissive of that, calling the crime “very, very serious” and citing a minimum 15-year prison sentence if Lynch is convicted.

The judge set bail at $40,000 with surety.

Friends of the victim said he was a Central High School graduate who played baseball. Many were mourning his loss on social media.

Laura Hart, a spokesperson for Providence Public Schools, released a statement Monday on behalf of the district.

“All of us at Providence Public Schools are deeply saddened by Chris’s passing and offer our deepest condolences to his family. Today, grief counselors were on hand to provide support to our students. On Tuesday at 4 p.m., we plan to hold a vigil in his honor outside of Central High School.”

A small memorial of candles was left on Amherst Street Sunday and continued to grow Monday.