Taunton man ignored cries for help after causing crash that killed Fall River woman: cops

A Taunton man who police say was speeding and driving drunk when he caused a head-on crash that killed a beloved Fall River school crossing guard was arraigned Wednesday morning in Taunton District Court and ordered held on $25,000 bail.


Ricky J. Ponte, 29, allegedly drove his Mercedes sedan into a Honda CRV being driven by 67-year-old Margaret “Peggy” McGowan, after police say Ponte tried to illegally pass another vehicle while heading west on Route 44 in Taunton.


McGowan died 18 days later in Rhode Island Hospital a day after she was taken off life support, authorities said.


The crash happened on Saturday night, March 10, at around 9:15 p.m. after McGowan — who grew up and worked in Taunton before retiring and moving to Fall River — had picked up her 16-year-old niece, after the girl had finished working a shift at a nearby restaurant, police said.