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Crash leaves Pawtucket man impaled on fence

August 5, 2013

PAWTUCKET—A 19-year-old city man is expected to recover after being impaled by a metal fence post in an accident at 167 Carter Street early Sunday morning.
According to Pawtucket Police, Kelvin Fernandez, of 970 York Ave., was a passenger in a car in which the driver struck the fence and foundation of a property at 163 Carter Ave. and came to rest in front of a house at 167 Carter Ave. at around 3:05 a.m.
According to the accident report, when police arrived, the driver and another passenger had fled the scene and left behind Fernandez in the heavily damaged Nissan Altima. In addition to front end damage, a large piece of metal fence had wrapped around the vehicle and tore through the driver's side door. Officer Keith Shillan observed that the piece of metal had also punctured Fernandez, entering through his back, right above his left hip, and was coming out of his upper leg.
Police called for rescue workers to bring the Jaws of Life, which they used to cut the pole. Fernandez, who was the owner of the vehicle, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was reported to be in stable condition.
Shillan also wrote that the gas mater at 167 Carter d Ave. had been damaged and there was a strong odor of gas in the area. National Grid was called and all residents living between 161 and 174 Carter Avenue were evacuated.
According to police, witnesses who were driving south on Perrin Avenue at the time of the crash said they saw a black male throw an object into a backyard of 95 Perrin Ave. and then run down the street. They then said they saw the accident and was told the male had fled the scene. During a subsequent search of 95 Perrin Ave., police found a large empty brandy bottle. Police had also received a call that froma resident of Hunts Aveneue reporting a male running through their backyard.
Police were later able to trace the two young men who had fled the scene, including the alleged driver. According to police, the vehicle was operated by Claudio Rocha, of 19, of 105 Hughes Ave. Police said Rocha had passed out in the cell when he had been taken for questioning and was transported to the Memorial Hospital. A 17-year-old male, who had also been a passenger, was questioned
Based on blood evidence collected from Rocha in the hospital, police say he will be charged with driving while intoxicated. According to the accident report, he reportedly admitted to drinking prior to the crash and told police he thought he had “blacked out.” He also said he had not realized that Fernandez had been injured.
The house at 167 Carter Ave. belongs to Vincent J. Tripoline. There was damage to the metal fence, porch railings, front columns, and gas meter, and minor damage to his vehicle, which was parked in the driveway.

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