EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Jamestown police officer Ryan Bourque had just gotten off his night shift and was driving home to Coventry early Monday morning when, according to Rhode Island State Police, his Dodge Charger was hit by another vehicle head-on.
Both Bourque, 24, and the other driver – identified as Dejae T. Pizarro, 23, of Bedford, Massachusetts – died as a result of their injuries.
The crash happened just after midnight between exits 7 and 8 in East Greenwich. Police say Pizzaro’s black Toyota Camry was traveling north in the southbound high-speed lane when it hit Bourque’s vehicle head-on.
State Police Capt. John Allen told Eyewitness News Pizarro pulled a U-turn in the middle of the highway in West Greenwich and began going north on the southbound fast lane. About a half mile later in East Greenwich, Capt. Allen says Pizzaro’s Toyota sped up and crashed into the Dodge, driven by Officer Bourque.
Allen says the state’s Traffic Management Center cameras captured the illegal U-turn, but not the crash.
Bourque was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, and Pizarro to Kent Hospital. Both were later pronounced dead.
Allen said he doesn’t think Pizarro was trying to commit suicide and police are investigation whether he was on drugs or alcohol.
“We spoke to his mother, got a little bit of information that he may have been at a graduation party earlier in the night,” Allen said.
According to Jamestown Police Chief Edward Mello, Bourque was a 2015 graduate of the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy and has been on the force for one year. The crash happened on the one-year anniversary of his time on the force.
Chief Mello called Bourque a quiet, good-hearted young man who became a police officer to help people.
State police said the department’s Accident Reconstruction and Forensic Services Units are assisting in the investigation.