A Massachusetts woman who stopped to help the victim of a crash on Interstate 95 in Rhode Island was killed by a hit-and-run driver early Sunday.
Jennifer Toscano, a 34-year-old nurse from Stoughton, was struck and killed while trying to help the victim of a rollover crash near Exit 30 in Pawtucket. The driver who hit her then fled the scene, Rhode Island State Police said.
Shortly after, police arrested the driver of the red car that they suspect hit Toscano. Luis Baez, a 22 year old from Jamaica Plain, was charged with the following:
- Driving under the influence of liquor and or drugs, resulting in death
- Driving so as to endanger, resulting in death
- Leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in death
- Operating on a suspended license, first offense
Baez will be arraigned Monday in Providence District Court, police said.
The crash was one of three early morning crashes on I-95 in Rhode Island, police said.
Around 1:30 a.m., police responded to a single-car crash near Branch Avenue in Providence. When officers arrived, they found that 22-year-old Providence resident Joseph Abreau had been ejected from his car after he struck a tree, according to state police. Officers believe speed was a factor in the crash, and it is under investigation.
Then around 1:50 a.m., state police responded to a single car crash on I-95 north near Exit 3 in Richmond. Brian Joseph Scacciaferro, 25, of Niantic, Connecticut, was killed when the Hyundai Sonata he was driving left the right side of the roadway, hit several light poles and a tree and was then engulfed in flames.
Several other drivers stopped and were able to remove Scacciaferro from the burning car, police said. However, he later died at Kent County Hospital. The crash is under investigation, but speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors, police said.
“This was a terrible morning on our highways and one I hope to never see again,” said Col. James M. Manni, the superintendent of the state police. “Alcohol, excessive speed and reckless driving appear to be factors in these incidents and as a result, three families have lost loved ones. Last night’s tragic death of a good Samaritan – truly the first responder at the scene of a crash – is a horrifying reminder that we have a shared responsibility to make our roads safe.”
“We have increased patrols and we respond to every call, but bad behavior continues to make our highways incredibly dangerous and these deaths were all preventable," Manni said in a statement. "We need motorists to slow down, buckle up, and not drive impaired. If you see someone driving dangerously, we encourage you to call 911 and help us to make our roadways safer.”
Anyone with information regarding the crashes is encouraged to contact State Police Lincoln barracks at (401) 444-1100.