PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Rhode Island State Police reported three, separate early-morning incidents within 20 minutes that resulted in three fatalities early Sunday morning.
Two of the incidents were single-car crashes that resulted in the deaths of the drivers, and the the third fatality was a good Samaritan who stopped to help at another crash.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday, State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Route 95 North in the area of Branch Avenue in Providence. Upon arrival, Troopers found one vehicle, which had left the right side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver, later identified as 22-year-old Joseph Abreau of Providence, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead on scene. RISP said speed appears to be a contributing factor and the crash remains under investigation.
At around 1:45 a.m., Police responded to a rollover crash on Route 95 North in the area of Exit 30 in Pawtucket. As Troopers arrived, they were advised that a good Samaritan, who stopped to render aid to a passenger in the rolled over vehicle, had been struck by a red vehicle that then fled. The good Samaritan, identified as 34-year-old Jennifer Toscano of Stoughton, Mass., was pronounced dead at the scene.
A short time later, Troopers located the red suspect vehicle that struck Toscano on 95 North. The driver was identified as 22-year-old Luis Baez of Jamaica Plain. He's facing several charges, including driving under the influence of liquor and or drugs, resulting in death, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and operating on a suspended license. Baez is being held and will be arraigned in Providence District Court on Monday. The investigation into the rollover crash and the resulting fatal pedestrian crash is ongoing.
At approximately 1:50 a.m., RISP responded to a single car crash on Route 95 North near Exit 3 in Richmond. A preliminary investigation revealed that a 2015 Hyundai Sonata left the right side of the roadway, struck several light poles and a tree, and was then engulfed in flames.
Several good Samaritans stopped and were able to remove the sole occupant of the burning vehicle, identified as 25-year-old Brian Joseph Scacciaferro of Niantic, Connecticut. He was transported to Kent County Hospital by rescue personnel, but died as a result of his injuries. This crash remains under investigation, but police said speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors.
“This was a terrible morning on our highways and one I hope to never see again,” said Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety. “Alcohol, excessive speed and reckless driving appear to be factors in these incidents and as a result, three families have lost loved ones. Last night’s tragic death of a Good Samaritan – truly the first responder at the scene of a crash – is a horrifying reminder that we have a shared responsibility to make our roads safe.”
The crashes are currently being investigated by members of the State Police Lincoln and Hope Valley barracks as well as investigators from the State Police Detective Bureau, State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit and State Police Forensic Service Unit.
(Photo: Getty Images)