Warwick police review video of fatal pedestrian crash
An 80-year-old man who was struck and killed by a car while crossing Warwick Avenue has been identified by authorities as Anthony Rossi, 80, of Warwick.
Police said the driver, a 38-year-old man who was operating a minivan with his family inside Wednesday around 8:30 p.m., is not expected to face charges. He stopped at the scene immediately following the incident and called police.
“More often than not, when someone does leave the scene, it’s a result of trying to hide some kind of behavior that either directly contributed or contributed to the crash,” said Maj. Rick Rathbun, recalling a recent rash of hit-and-run crashes.
Rathbun went on to say that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The driver also voluntarily let police see his phone and they determined he was not texting or on the phone at the time of the accident.
Rathbun also said investigators obtained a lot of evidence at the scene.
“In this case, we have the best witness perhaps in the video footage we were able to witness,” said Rathbun, who added that police obtained a lot of surveillance video from surrounding businesses.
Investigators surmise that visibility might have been a factor in the crash, as it was raining and dark during the time. Police also said that at least two street lights were not lit at the time.
Authorities said Rossi was crossing the four-lane street to go to a nearby gym, which is something he did regularly. Police warned both drivers and pedestrians to use caution.
“Wear light clothing, have a flashlight, or at least use a lighted intersection if you want to cross,” said Rathbun.
Police are currently proactively working to protect pedestrians with an initiative called, “Walk Wise Warwick.” It’s funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
“It allows us to take officers outside of their normal duties of patrol in the traffic conditions, put them in the areas where crosswalks are, and conduct aggressive enforcement,” said Rathbun.
There are no crosswalks in the area where Rossi was crossing the street, with police noting that people crossing the street should use crosswalks.