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Massachusetts road rage attack ends with driver making U-turn to mow down woman: prosecutors

A Massachusetts woman who got out of her car to confront an angry driver was massacred in the road, succumbing to her injuries after three days on life support. 

Destini Decoff, 26, had part of her skull removed to accommodate a brain bleed and was put on a respirator due to two collapsed lungs after she was mowed down in Hopkinton last Thursday, her mother wrote on Facebook. 

With a broken rib, shoulder and tibia, along with facial disfigurement that required plastic surgery, Tracy Decoff wrote that her daughter was “literally injured from head to toe.” 

Ryan Sweatt of Milford, 36, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, operating to endanger and a marked lanes violation after hitting Decoff with his Honda Civic on Route 85 in Hopkinton, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a Friday news release. 

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Destini Decoff, 26, was sent flying in the air after Ryan Sweatt, 36, rammed her with his car in what police called an “apparent road rage incident.” (Destini Decoff/Facebook)

Prosecutors said a police officer saw Sweatt speed away from the scene after the 6:30 p.m. accident, CBS reported. When police caught up to him, his windshield was damaged – he allegedly got out of the car screaming, “They’re trying to kill me!” 

Sweatt told police that Decoff pulled in front of him and slammed on her brakes as he drove home from work, according to court documents reviewed by the outlet. Then, he said, Decoff and four men got out of their vehicle and swarmed him to threaten him – Sweatt told police one man pulled out a knife.

The District Attorney’s Office did not specify whether Decoff had been driving before she was struck.

Following the District Attorney’s Office announcement, the elder Decoff wrote that Sweatt was “charged with everything he should’ve been.” 

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Destini Decoff

On Sunday, Tracy Decoff wrote on Facebook that her “firstborn child [and] best friend” had passed away. (Destini Decoff on Facebook)

In the “apparent road rage incident,” Sweatt “made a U-turn at a high rate of speed and struck the victim in the roadway” after “some of the occupants of [Decoff’s] vehicle, including the victim, exited the car,” the office wrote.

Decoff’s mother wrote that the impact threw her daughter in the air, and that the driver fled the scene before Hopkinton Police caught up to him. 

“She was in the car with friends when the car behind them was riding their bumper,” the mother said. “Car pulled over, they got out of the vehicle and that car tried to run them over.” 

Brett Martin, a witness who saw the scene from nearby Cornell’s Irish Pub, told CBS that the impact ripped off Decoff’s clothes: 

“I saw her midair kind of coming down toward the street,” Martin told CBS. “Her jacket must’ve been 20 feet away from her. However, she got hit, those clothes flew off.” 

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Destini Decoff

Decoff suffered two collapsed lungs, a brain bleed, a slew of broken bones and extreme facial disfigurement in the attack, her mother said. (Destini Decoff/Facebook)

Martin said he ran over to the scene, grabbed Decoff’s jacket and covered the bloodied woman. He said Sweatt “turned around multiple times, and he could have just kept going” before hitting the woman, CBS reported.

“He chose to turn around,” Martin told the outlet. “He knew what he was doing when he went toward that girl.” 

On Friday, a prosecutor said that surveillance footage confirmed Martin’s account, CBS reported. 

Last Friday, Decoff’s mother wrote that she “hop[ed] that mf burns directly in hell” with “every ounce of [her] being.” 

On Sunday, the grieving mother wrote that her “firstborn child [and] best friend” had passed away. 

Cornell's Irish Pub

The ultimately-fatal road rage incident took place on Route 85 near Cornell’s Irish Pub, pictured. A witness told reporters that Decoff’s jacket landed 20 feet away after she was sent flying in the air. (Google Maps)

The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached for comment on whether additional charges would be filed in light of the 26-year-old’s death. 

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Sweatt has entered a not-guilty plea, according to court records, and is scheduled to appear in Framingham District Court on April 10. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

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