Driver charged with DUI after crash damages radio station

WNRI SUV crash

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island radio station was badly damaged after being struck by a vehicle early Wednesday morning.

It happened just after midnight at the offices of WNRI-AM on Diamond Hill Road. A dark-colored SUV crashed into a corner of the radio station building, tearing a hole in a supervisor’s office and hitting a support pole for a satellite receiving dish. Though the satellite receiver was damaged, no studio or transmitting equipment was affected.

The driver – Thomas Hill of Woonsocket – has been charged with driving under the influence, according to Woonsocket police.

Police said they’re searching for two more people who eyewitnesses reported seeing run off after the crash.

Hill was trapped inside the SUV following the crash, police said. He was transported to Rhode Island hospital with minor injuries.

The SUV’s entire front end was left a torn, crumpled mess. A building wall was equally damaged, reduced to a large pile of rubble.

WNRI’s owner Richard Bouchard said, “the damage is pretty much limited to this portion of the building so I was able to get the radio station up and running again.”

The station went on the air with local programming as normal at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“I can’t give you a dollar amount because these things are all over the place but it looks like I’m not going to have an office for a while,” said Bouchard.