East Providence resident is fatality among injured in I-95 wrong-way driving incident


NORTH SCITUATE — Rhode Island State Police identified city resident Sheng Zhou as the fatality and one of the victims in a wrong-way driving accident which occurred on Interstate 95 in Pawtucket in the early morning hours of Friday morning, Feb. 28.

A passenger in the rear operator’s side of the vehicle struck State Police Saturday, March 1, announced the deceased as Ms. Zhou, 27, of 3044 Pawtucket Ave., Riverside. As a result of injuries sustained in the accident, Ms. Zhou was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital at 4:05 a.m. Friday morning. The accident took place on Route 95 South at approximately 3 a.m.

The operator of the vehicle traveling the wrong way was identified as Estefani Almanzar, 21, of 17 Spicer St., Providence. Ms. Almanzar remains in critical condition as a result of injuries sustained from the accident. Ms. Almanzar was the lone occupant of her vehicle.

Two other victims were injured in the accident.

The operator of the vehicle traveling the correct way on Route 95 South and consequently struck by Ms. Almanzar’s vehicle was Weiming Chien, 30, of 3040 Pawtucket Ave., Riverside. As of Saturday morning, March 1, Mr. Chien was listed in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

The front seat passenger of Mr. Chien’s vehicle was identified as Jean Liu, 20, of 333 Atwells Ave., Providence. Ms. Liu was also listed Saturday as being in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

The investigation is ongoing and as of March 1, no charges have been filed.

State Police released initial details of the accident late Friday morning.

According to the report, at approximately 2:56 a.m., multiple 911 calls were received at the State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks reporting a vehicle was traveling on Route 95 northbound in the southbound lanes. A witness observed this vehicle strike the median barrier in the area of the Route 95 and Route 195 before continuing north.

At approximately 3:04 a.m., additional 911 calls were received reporting a vehicle with the same description had struck a second vehicle head on which was traveling Route 95 south. The collision occurred south of Lonsdale Avenue in Pawtucket.

Troopers responded to the scene and were assisted by members of the Pawtucket Fire Department and Pawtucket Police Department. The operator of the vehicle traveling the wrong way was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.

Three individuals in the second vehicle were also transported to Rhode Island Hospital. The driver and front seat passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries as the result of the crash and are in stable condition. The rear seat passenger later succumbed to her injuries at Rhode Island Hospital.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.