Tiverton Police Captain Patrick Jones said both men were 21 years old, and that it was the driver’s 21st birthday.
The driver, Bryan Henrique, of 35 Sheldon Street, Tiverton, died at the scene. The passenger, Seth A. Poe Demoura, of 386 Canonicus Street, Tiverton, is in critical condition.
A 911 caller at 1:23 a.m. reported “a loud crash” in the vicinity of 423 Stafford Road (Rt .81) near an area known as Arruda’s curve, Captain Jones said.
Police and fire/rescue personnel responded and found a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix in the woods on the east side of the road. The car had been heading southbound on Stafford Road, left the roadway, snapped a utility pole, and “catapulted into the woods alongside the road,” Captain Jones said. “They hit everything,” he said.
It was not known Tuesday afternoon, when this paper went to press, where the young men were coming from when the accident occurred.
Rescue personnel were able to free Mr. Demoura, the passenger, after removing the roof of the vehicle using the “jaws of life,” said Captain Jones. Two med-flight helicopters were requested to transport the two men, given the severity of their injuries, he said. Mr. Henrique was later pronounced as having died at the scene by a member of the Medical Examiner’s office.
Neither occupant in the car was seat-belted, said Captain Jones.
An initial investigation has determined the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the accident, and alcohol has not been ruled out as a contributing factor.
The accident remains under the investigation by certified Tiverton accident investigators, Detective Brendan McKinnon and Officer Dan Martin, and the Rhode Island State Police have offered the assistance of their accident investigation unit. The two teams will meet and consult with State Police investigators within the next several days, Captain Jones said.