Man faces judge in reckless driving death case

Daniel Racine faces a judge at Kent County Superior Court November 20, 2015. (WPRI-TV)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A West Warwick man charged in the death of a friend said Friday the deadly crash was not his fault.

Daniel Racine, 29, appeared at Kent County Superior Court on the charges of reckless driving death resulting and street racing in connection with the December 31, 2014 death of Antonio Vargas, 18.

Racine told Eyewitness News he was not racing or driving recklessly. He, his wife, and Vargas were all friends, he said; the night of December 31, he and his wife were following Vargas to hang out — but Vargas sped past them on J.P. Murphy Highway.

As soon as he drove over the hill, Racine saw Vargas crash into a utility pole. The force of the crash split the car in two.

A crash on J.P. Murphy Highway in West Warwick December 31, 2014 killed Antonio Vargas, 18. (WPRI-TV)
A crash on J.P. Murphy Highway in West Warwick December 31, 2014 killed Antonio Vargas, 18. (WPRI-TV)

Racine said he was driving no faster than 45 miles an hour.

A not-guilty plea was entered on Racine’s behalf in court. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance. He’s due back in court December 3.

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