Jury finds Warwick man guilty of impaired driving crash that injured Rhode Island State Trooper

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Warwick man has been found guilty by a Kent County Superior Court jury of charges stemming from an impaired driving crash that injured an on-duty Rhode Island State Police (RISP) trooper in 2021.

 

On February 8, 2024, following the conclusion of a four-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos, the jury found Richard Stanley (age 56) guilty of one count of driving to endanger resulting in physical injury and one count of driving under the influence.

 

The defendant is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in Kent County Superior Court on April 26, 2024.

 

“Every time someone chooses to drive while under the influence, they are putting many lives at risk,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Our Rhode Island State troopers have a mantra – ‘always there’ – that aptly describes their commitment to public safety and service to Rhode Islanders. Living up to that mantra also means that our troopers expose themselves to great risk, as evidenced by this case. I am grateful to the RISP and the entire investigative and prosecution team for their work on this case and so many others.”

 

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on December 28, 2021, the defendant, while impaired, crashed his vehicle into a RISP cruiser alongside of Interstate 95 South in Warwick, injuring a trooper inside of the cruiser who had initiated a motor vehicle stop.

 

That evening, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a RISP trooper in a blue Ford Explorer, with its emergency lights activated, pulled over a silver Toyota Camry alongside the highway.

 

Several minutes later, the defendant, driving a white Nissan Sentra, veered from the center lane of I-95 South and crashed into the rear of the cruiser. Investigators from the RISP Collision Reconstruction Unit determined that the defendant’s vehicle was travelling at 52 miles per hour just prior to the crash, and at no time during the five seconds preceding the crash, did the defendant activate the brakes of his vehicle.

 

Following the crash, the defendant told investigators that he had consumed alcohol and had taken Xanax. Later, while at Rhode Island Hospital, the defendant submitted to a blood test, which revealed that the defendant had a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .011%, and Alprazolam (Xanax) was present in his system.

 

“Typically, the men and women of the Rhode Island State Police respond to all manner of highway crashes as first responders and investigators,” said Rhode Island State Police Colonel Darnell S. Weaver. “And here, a trooper became the victim of an impaired driving crash – one that could easily have been avoided or exacerbated by a minor change in circumstances. We are all thankful that tragedy was avoided here, and Rhode Islanders should know that impaired driving is completely avoidable, and such a minor thing can have a great impact on public safety.”

 

Special Assistant Attorney General John Malloy of the Office of the Attorney General and Corporal Amy Jackman and Trooper Jason Difusco of the Rhode Island State Police led the investigation and prosecution of the case.

 

 

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