Volunteer firefighter being remembered after fatal crash

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Harrisville Fire Department is mourning the loss of a longtime volunteer whose life was cut short earlier this week.

Lawrence Castonguay, 73, of Burrillville, died at the hospital Wednesday night due to injuries suffered in a crash on Putnam Pike in Glocester.

Police said Castonguay and his wife, Marie, 71, were in their new pickup truck when it was hit by a second vehicle driven by Samuel Smith. Marie Castonguay was seriously hurt in the crash.

Smith, 27, of Connecticut, allegedly caused the crash after he tried to spin out his tires and lost control of his vehicle, according to police. He faces felony charges of driving to endanger death resulting and driving to endanger resulting in serious bodily injury.

Samuel Smith and the aftermath of the Putnam Pike crash

“It’s just senseless. Just totally senseless,” Harrisville Fire Chief Mark St. Pierre said Friday.

Flags are now at half-staff at Station 2 as the department remembers Castonguay, a volunteer of 44 years.

Castonguay’s colleagues said he was Mr. Fix-It around the department, and his handy work can be seen everywhere.

“He was great with his hands,” St. Pierre recalled. “He could fix plumbing, electrical, do welding. Anything we needed fixed, we used to check and see if Larry could fix it first, before we made a decision to send it out to be fixed.”

The chief said Castonguay took some time off due to medical issues and his doctors had just cleared him to return to active duty.