Police: ‘Road rage’ led to fatal crash; driver charged

Police believe Mitchell Savard caused a fatal crash on I-295. (Photos: RI State Police/WPRI-TV)

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Investigators believe it was road rage that led to a fatal crash on I-295 last week and have arrested one of the drivers as a result.

Rhode Island State Police officials announced Wednesday they’ve charged Mitchell Savard in connection with the three-vehicle crash in Johnston on March 30 that left one man dead and two others with injuries.

According to police, the investigation revealed Savard was traveling northbound in the high-speed lane just before 10 a.m. when he made a lane change, cutting off a tow truck behind him. Police said the tow truck driver sounded his horn and in response, Savard repeatedly tapped his brakes before abruptly stopping in the center lane.

The tow truck was forced to make an abrupt stop as well, according to police, but a box truck behind it was unable to stop and struck the rear of the tow truck, which then struck Savard’s vehicle.

The two occupants of the box truck – Erik Salazar and Andy Salgado, both 23 and of Brooklyn – were seriously injured in the crash. Salazar succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital while Salgado remains in critical condition at the hospital.

Police said the tow truck driver, identified as 28-year-old Trevor Armstrong of Bristol, Connecticut, suffered minor injuries, while Savard was reportedly unhurt.

Savard, 41, of Woonsocket, was arrested Wednesday at his Park Avenue home and charged with driving to endanger resulting in death, and two counts of driving to endanger resulting in personal injury.

“Aggressive driving and road rage pose a deadly risk to every motorist in Rhode Island,” State Police Col. Ann Assumpico said in a statement. “We take this threat very seriously, and we will remain vigilant in the prosecution of any driver who puts others at risk.”

Savard is expected to appear in court Wednesday for arraignment.