Crime, Local News, News, South County

Teen arraigned on DUI charges from February deadly crash

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Scott Gavitt, 18, entered a plea of not guilty Monday morning to charges he drove drunk and caused a crash that killed his girlfriend back in February.

WPRI/Madeleine Wright
Malstrom remembered in parade of cars through Narragansett

Prosecutors and state police said Gavitt was intoxicated when his car went off Route 2 in Exeter on the morning of February 25, 2016. After a grand jury indicted Gavitt just over two weeks ago, he was charged with driving under the influence resulting in death and driving under the influence resulting in bodily injury. Gavitt’s car had veered across the Route 2 center line, hitting a mailbox and then a utility pole, police said. Besides Gavitt’s girlfriend, Heidi Malstrom, 17, of Coventry, who was killed, there were two other passengers in Gavitt’s car who were seriously hurt along with Gavitt himself.

Besides Gavitt’s girlfriend, Heidi Malstrom, 17, of Coventry, who was killed, there were two other passengers in Gavitt’s car who were seriously hurt along with Gavitt himself.

In an arrest report obtained by Eyewitness News, police described the contents of the car when they first arrived.

“A red cardboard case of Budweiser beer along with several broken¬†brown beer bottles scattered throughout the vehicle.”

Gavitt was a volunteer firefighter, once hailed as a hero with an award from the Red Cross for saving a man from a burning car. Now, he’s facing 15 years in prison if convicted.

A judge lowered Gavitt’s bail to $10,000 with surety following his plea Monday morning, ordering Gavitt to stay away from alcohol and Heidi’s family. He also cannot drive as a condition of his bail.

Gavitt is due back in court in September. Flanked by his family outside of court Monday, he did not comment on the case; neither did the parents of Heidi Malstrom, who were in the courtroom for the proceedings.

Annie Shalvey contributed to this report. 

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