WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been days since a hit-and-run crash caused the death of a 71-year-old man, but some are still reeling from the loss.
The victim was identified in court documents as Richard Forte. 12 News spoke to the manager of Hilltop Farms, a family-owned store in Bellingham, who said her family knew him well.
“I was in complete shock,” Celeste Gurwitz said Monday.
Gurwitz said Forte would often stop by to say hello and help out at the store.
“He was the sweetest, kindest guy,” she said. “For that to happen to him, it was heartbreaking. I’m still in shock.”
Jared Travers, 30, is accused of driving off after hitting Forte as he crossed Diamond Hill Road. The North Attleboro man was arraigned Monday on charges of duty to stop in an accident resulting in death and duty to render assistance.
Travers’ attorney said his client drove to the police station after the crash and cooperated with their investigation.
“He was not intoxicated, he was not distracted, and it doesn’t look like, based off of what we know so far, that he was reckless or negligent,” his attorney explained.