Family to hold vigil in honor of Portsmouth crash victim

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — A Portsmouth man who died in a single-car crash Tuesday has been identified by his family as police continue to investigate what caused the crash.

According to the family, Ray Oliver was working as a delivery driver when he struck a tree near the intersection of Turnpike Avenue and Gorton Street.

Oliver’s mother said her son was delivering pizzas to put himself through college. The 20-year-old was taking classes at Bristol Community College with hopes of becoming a lawyer.

“I just want him home,” Laura Oliver said Wednesday. “He had so much to live for.”

Memorial for Ray Oliver on Turnpike Avenue (WPRI/Steve Nielsen)
Memorial for Ray Oliver on Turnpike Avenue (WPRI/Steve Nielsen)

Portsmouth Deputy Fire Chief Michael O’Brien said Wednesday that two firefighters happened to be driving an ambulance in the area and were on scene less than a minute after the crash.

Oliver was found to be unresponsive and heavily trapped in the driver’s seat so the firefighters called for backup and began treating him.

Crews extricated Oliver from the car and rushed him to St. Anne’s Hospital. Despite the resuscitation efforts, Oliver succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

Oliver’s mother said they plan to hold a vigil for her son this weekend.

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