Police: Vehicle involved in serious crash after fleeing traffic stop


NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A vehicle involved in a serious crash in Woonsocket had previously fled a traffic stop in North Smithfield, according to police.

It started when a North Smithfield police officer tried to stop a 2001 Toyota Corolla on Great Road for an equipment violation, as well as reason to believe the registered owner was wanted for other offenses, police said.

The Corolla took off at a high rate of speed towards Blackstone, Mass. and the officer lost sight of the vehicle.

Soon after, the officer continued driving and observed the vehicle had crashed into a pole on St. Paul Street in the area of Elizabeth Avenue.

The driver was identified as Eric Lefrancois, 40, of Woonsocket, and the passenger was identified as the registered owner, Melissa Lefrancois.

Both sustained injuries in the crash and were transported to Rhode Island Hospital to be treated.

Melissa Lefrancois has since been released, while Eric Lefrancois remains in critical condition.

The crash remains under investigation.

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