Five teens injured, one charged in rollover crash

(credit: Chris Palmer)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Five people were hurt, one seriously, in a rollover crash Sunday morning in Cranston.

Police told Eyewitness News that the wreck happened in the area of 1570 Plainfield Pike at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police Chief Michael Winquist said that the vehicle was “greatly exceeding the speed limit,” which is 30 miles per hour in that area, before the crash. There is also a sharp curve in the road at the location.

The car crashed into a utility pole and rolled over, knocking out power in the area for several hours.

“The telephone pole snapped in half and the vehicle subsequently came to rest on its roof,” said Lt. Michael Pezzullo of the Cranston Police Department.

“As soon as we heard the car crash, we heard a woman screaming,” said Leonora Costello, who lives near the crash scene. “Bloodcurdling screams, she was absolutely horrified.”

Blake Carpenter ,18, faces several counts of driving to endanger. (Cranston Police Department photo)
Blake Carpenter,18, faces several counts of driving to endanger. (Cranston Police Department photo)

One of the passengers, a 17-year-old Cranston girl who had been sitting in the back seat, was thrown from the car, suffering multiple broken bones and head trauma, according to Winquist. She was being treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Sunday afternoon. Police said she is expected to be okay.

The other four people in the vehicle were treated and released from hospitals; Winquist said only one of them was wearing a seatbelt and that they were all extremely lucky to have escaped with bumps and bruises.

“All the occupants are definitely lucky to be alive at this point,” said Pezzullo.

A Johnston man, 18-year-old Blake Carpenter, was behind the wheel and is facing charges of reckless driving and four counts of driving to endanger. He was arraigned before a justice of the peace Sunday morning and was released on $5,000 personal recognizance. He is due back in court in April.

Investigators say alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors.

The other passengers were a 16-year-old Johnston girl who was the front-seat passenger, and two 18-year-old women from Johnston who were riding in the back seat alongside the 17-year-old girl.

Costello said she wants the guardrail on the curve extended because multiple accidents have occurred in that location.

“I’m just glad that the people in the car didn’t get hurt any more than they did,” said Costello.

Crews from National Grid repaired the utility pole later in the morning, and power was restored.

This report has been updated to reflect that the front-seat passenger was a 16-year-old female. Police originally said the passenger was a 16-year-old male.

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