WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A man accused of driving under the influence and causing a crash that killed his passenger faced a judge on Wednesday.
Police say Dauda Elegushi was transporting a 77-year-old Coventry woman from a dialysis appointment on Nov. 27 when he collided with another car at the intersection of Main Street and Abbotts Crossing Road.
The passenger, who has not been identified, died several days later at the hospital, according to police.
Elegushi, 25, and two occupants of the second vehicle were also injured in the crash.
Elegushi was later charged with driving under the influence of liquor or drugs resulting in death, presence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, driving to endanger resulting in death, driving to endanger resulting in physical injury, driving without a license, and obstructing police.
During his arraignment on Wednesday, Judge Anthony Capraro set bail at $20,000 with surety and said Elegushi is considered a flight risk. His passport was turned over to Coventry police and he was ordered not to drive or leave the state without permission.
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According to prosecutors, Elegushi is a Nigerian citizen and has overstayed his visa.
His defense attorney said his client is currently studying at the Community College of Rhode Island with other members of a church.
The state noted that Elegushi received a citation earlier this year for speeding, but has no criminal record otherwise.
He is due back in court in February.
Gov. Dan McKee’s office said Elegushi was transporting the woman through Assured Transportation, LLC, a subcontractor of MTM, the state’s non-emergency medical transportation provider.
He “was not qualified, credentialed, or an authorized driver under Assured Transportation’s contract with MTM,” according to the company, who has since terminated the contract.
The state is now reviewing its contract with MTM and has asked for a full audit of its subcontractors to make sure they all meet the required qualifications.
House Oversight Committee Chair Patricia Serpa suggested the state cut ties with MTM.
“We have had MTM before us four or five or six times and they always talk about correcting their problems, working with us on their issues, but they don’t and they never do,” she said. “It will be three years in June and the contract will be up. They certainly should have worked out all of the kinks by now.”
In March 2019, MTM was fined $1 million for its problem-plagued launch in Rhode Island, which included complaints about rides being late or patients being left stranded. Later that year, MTM dropped one of its drivers after Target 12 obtained a photo that showed a child crouching on the floor of a packed vehicle.