GLOCESTER, R.I. (WPRI) – As a local fire chief remains hospitalized after a motorcycle crash, his wife is thanking the community for their support.
Chief Robert Dauphinais of the Chepachet Fire Department and his wife Ericka were on a motorcycle in Wrentham last weekend when they hit a curb and a sign. Robert was flown to Boston Medical Center where he is in a medically-induced coma after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
“This was a fluke accident,” Ericka told Eyewitness News on Sunday morning from her Boston hotel room. “It’s a trip we’ve taken hundreds of times, it’s a road that we’ve taken I can’t even tell you how many times. He just happened to just take the turn wrong, hit the curb. I close my eyes and I can just hear the sounds of the accident over and over again.”
Ericka suffered two black eyes but was otherwise not seriously hurt. Robert was down on the ground, seriously hurt, missing the helmet he had been wearing.
Doctors said Robert suffered a traumatic brain injury, although the extent of the damage isn’t yet known.
“As of last night they had taken him off some of the sedatives and he was responsive to some pain,” Ericka said, “but he has not opened his eyes or responded to commands by the doctors.”
The community, in particular his brother firefighters, have banded together to support him and his wife, setting up an online fundraiser to help cover medical expenses. But complete strangers have also offered their support. As of Sunday morning, the campaign had raised almost $17,000 of a $50,000 goal.
“I greatly appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and blessings,” Ericka said.
“It really demonstrates what my husband has done all these years as a leader in the community and being someone that people just love.”