Witness describes serious Thanksgiving Day wreck on I-95

(Corey Welch/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Boston man heading to Thanksgiving dinner with his family witnessed a serious wreck on I-95 in Providence Thursday and got a much closer look than he would have liked.

Lucas Neily and his wife were heading to Barrington and passing through Providence at about 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day when the crash happened. He recalled a black car wearing in and out of traffic and pass him at a very high speed.

“We kind of felt the car shake, he was moving so fast,” he said, estimating that it was going about 120 miles per hour.

Rhode Island State Police said that car was being driven by 28-year-old Thomas Donaldson, who moments later changed lanes abruptly and crashed into another vehicle, causing it to flip over.

“About twenty seconds after he blew past us, I just saw like a mushroom cloud of glass and metal, like just explode,” Neily said Friday.

The car Donaldson hit rolled over and landed in the breakdown lane. Donaldson’s car went up the embankment on the side of the highway, through a fence, rolled over and ultimately came to rest on John Partington Way in front of the Providence Public Safety Complex.

Donaldson, despite being ejected from his car, was hospitalized with injuries that State Police said weren’t life threatening. The other driver remains in critical condition.

Donaldson was arraigned in his hospital bed Friday morning and charged with driving under the influence with serious injury resulting, driving to endanger resulting in personal injury, and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

“That was rough to see, especially on Thanksgiving,” Neily said.

Earlier Thanksgiving morning, the Rhode Island DUI Task Force reported that police around the state had arrested 28 people for alcohol-related offenses Wednesday night into Thursday morning.