Victim of wrong-way crash meets man who saved her life

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — More than a week after she was injured in a crash caused by a suspected drunk driver, a Pascoag woman on Friday came face-to-face with the man who pulled her from the wreckage.

Samantha Kennelly said she’s still trying to wrap her head around what happened.

“It’s surreal, like wait… I was actually in this accident,” she said Friday. “I feel like I didn’t live through that trauma, so it’s weird.”

On the night of Nov. 30, Kennelly was driving on I-295 North near the Johnston-Smithfield line when a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction hit her head-on, according to police. That vehicle, driven by Robert Allyn, caught fire as a result.

Allyn, 57, was charged with driving under the influence and driving to endanger.

Before emergency responders arrived on scene, Kennelly was rescued by a man who pulled over to help. On Friday, the two reunited for the first time since the crash.

“It was really nice of you to stop and pull me out,” Kennelly told Steven Lipps.

“I’m just glad to see you standing,” Lipps responded.

Despite the severity of the crash, both Kennelly and Lipps said they were able to gain something from it: hope that positivity can exist in any situation.

“At the end of the day I’m just some random individual. I was just there,” he said. “But I’m hoping someone does the same next time they see something.”

Lipps said he was only driving that night because he had just started going to physical therapy after he himself was in a bad crash earlier this year.

In the car with Kennelly was her dog Scarlett, who was missing for about 17 hours after the crash. She was found in the woods the following day by Kennelly’s boyfriend.