Wrong-way driver killed in South Kingstown crash was RIDOC inspector

South County

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The man killed in a wrong-way crash in South Kingstown was an inspector for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC), according to Director Patricia Coyne-Fague.

The South Kingstown Police Department said 56-year-old Robert Brown, of Cranston, was driving the wrong way on Route 1 Tuesday night when he crashed head-on into another vehicle.

Brown, according to police, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash also left a 59-year-old woman with serious injuries and a 47-year-old man with minor injuries.

Coyne-Fague said Brown began working for the RIDOC’s Office of Inspections in 2013. Prior to that, he worked for the Cranston Police Department, rising to the rank of captain before retiring in 2007.

In between Cranston and RIDOC, Coyne-Fague said Brown worked in the office of internal affairs at the Wyatt Detention Center.

“Bob quickly distinguished himself as a ‘go-to’ inspector, with a talent for investigations and a genuine love of this department,” Coyne-Fague said. “Bob’s tenacity is legendary. Known for turning over every single rock in an investigation, he was also equally regarded for his sense of fairness and compassion. He was as interested in clearing someone erroneously accused as he was in ensuring that those who tarnished the reputation of the department would face consequences.”

Brown “never failed to answer the call when needed,” according to Coyne-Fague.

“Being a member of the law enforcement family meant everything to Bob, and he wore his badge and reputation proudly,” she added. “It didn’t matter how minor or how critical the task was, Bob approached everything he did with zealous professionalism and attention to detail.”

Brown leaves behind his wife of 32 years, Kathy, his son Eric, his father and three sisters.

“To say he will be missed is a gross understatement,” Coyne-Fague said.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

It’s unclear at this time why Brown was driving on the wrong side of the roadway. Police said the crash remains under investigation.

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