URI student, 18, charged with DWI in serious crash

Photo: South Kingstown Police

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Police say a Connecticut man was drinking at a fraternity before causing a serious crash on Route 138 last week.

South Kingstown police Tuesday said Matthew C. Iaiennaro, 18, of Southbury, Conn. was speeding and driving under the influence when his Chevy Cobalt rear-ended another car while traveling west on Route 138 on Nov. 6, causing both vehicles into the eastbound lanes and off the road.

In a release, Capt. Joel Ewing-Chow said Iaiennaro showed “visible signs of intoxication” and “admitted to drinking alcohol prior to the crash.”

Iaiennaro’s passenger, who Ewing-Chow described as a 22-year-old man from Maryland, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Honda was treated on scene for minor injuries.

Ewing-Chow said both Iaiennaro and his passenger were students at the University of Rhode Island and both were at the Chi Phi fraternity consuming alcohol before the crash.

URI told Eyewitness News after learning about the investigation, the school placed Chi Phi fraternity under emergency suspension.

Chi Phi had already been placed on disciplinary probation for violation of the University’s substance abuse policy this fall.

The emergency suspension includes a cease and desist from all chapter operations and activities. The 39 students who live in the house are allowed to continue to reside there as individuals. National Chi Phi also issued an emergency suspension.

The case will be referred to the University judicial system, which can result in anything from a reprimand to the closing and dismissal of the chapter.”  -University of Rhode Island Statement

Ewing-Chow said Iaiennaro was arraigned at the police station on charges of driving under the influence involving serious bodily injury; driving to endanger resulting in bodily injury; and refusal to submit to a chemical test. Iaiennaro was released on $5,000 surety bail and has felony screening date set for Dec. 15.

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