Williamsburg woman faces negligent motor vehicle homicide charge in bicyclist’s death

  • Charlie Braun is seen in an undated photo used as the cover of his 2006 album “Lift.” CHARLIEBRAUN.COM

  • Charlie Braun, 69, was biking near the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Elm Street near Northampton High School when he was struck and killed by a vehicle on Oct. 6, 2021. STAFF PHOTO / CAROL LOLLIS

  • A ghost bike memorial in memory of Charlie Braun near the intersection of Elm Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Northampton. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/4/2021 3:44:38 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Northwestern district attorney’s office has charged the driver who struck and killed bicyclist Charlie Braun, 69, on Oct. 6 near Northampton High School.

Haley Kelly-Sherette, 23, of Williamsburg, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Northampton District Court. She is charged with negligent motor vehicle homicide, failing to stop for a stop sign and use of an electronic device while driving.

The district attorney’s office said Braun was riding his bike west on Elm Street, passing by the intersection with Woodlawn Avenue, when he was hit at 4:15 p.m. He was pronounced dead at Cooley Dickinson Hospital half an hour later.

Kelly-Sherette allegedly “was driving south on Woodlawn when she engaged in a 53-second Facetime conversation with a friend,” according to a statement from the district attorney’s office. “Her attention was also drawn to her 1-year-old daughter who was crying in the back seat.”

Kelly-Sherette failed to come to a complete stop at the intersection of Elm and Woodlawn and struck Braun, investigators said. She remained on the scene and called 911.

Braun was a musician, music teacher and owner of the Other Side of the Tracks Studio in Northampton. He released several albums of original music, the most recent of which was “Keep the Vibration Up: Songs & Chants in the Key of Light” in 2016, and was known for leading spiritual music and chanting sessions called Kirtans.

The incident was investigated by the Northampton Police, the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit attached to the Northwestern district attorney’s office and the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, referred to as CARS.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.


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