Warwick, RI – When officer Jeremy Smith asked the driver of a gray 2013 Lexus bearing front end damage indicative of a telephone pole strike what had happened, the man admitted to striking one on Yale Avenue, not Fair Street, where the crash actually occurred.
Smith was called to the area of Fair Street and Yale Avenue for a report of a car crash with injuries at 1:56 a.m. May 25, finding an officer already speaking with the driver, 24, of 6481 Post Road, North Kingstown, who had stopped his car in the lot at Asbury United Methodist Church at 143 Ann Mary Brown Dr.
Smith asked the driver what had happened, and the driver said he was uninjured. He said he’d been showing off to friends and had struck a telephone pole on Yale Avenue. The two walked down Yale Avenue, and the driver pointed out the telephone pole, according to the officer’s report.
Smith noted in his report that there were no skid marks on the street nearby the pole. Also, he reported, there was no damage to the pole the man had pointed out. However, there was a line of leaked radiator fluid stretching from the driver’s car to Fair Street.
Shortly after this discovery, Smith was notified by a fellow officer that that the pole that had been struck had been located on Fair Street. The driver had apparently continued from the telephone pole strike then struck a vehicle on Yale Avenue, according to the report.
The officers spoke with four witnesses to the crashes.
One man said he saw a dark-colored sedan travelling at high speed on , then heard a bang as the sedan struck a telephone pole at the corner of Country Club Drive and Fair Street.
A second man said he saw a truck following the car after the crash and saw the occupants of the truck alert the driver that police were coming. The driver backed up and side-swiped a parked car before driving away.
As Smith spoke with the driver, the officer reported the driver had an odor of alcohol coming from his breath. Smith asked him twice if he’d had anything to drink, and he stated that he’d had a beer.
The driver consented to a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed. He showed a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision, used his arms for balance and missed heel-to-toe cadence during the walk-and-turn and put his foot down three times during the one-leg stand.
Smith arrested the man, charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was transported to Warwick Police Headquarters. While en route to the police station, he told Smith he’d had six Red Bull and vodka drinks.
At the station, the driver took a breath test, registering a .114 and .113
Smith charged the driver with DUI, first offense, and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, with a court date on June 16. He was scheduled to appear at the RI Traffic Tribunal June 26 for the latter charge.
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