WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A 25-year-old Warwick man has died after he was struck by a police cruiser on West Shore Road late Monday night.
The man’s identity is being withheld pending family notification.
Warwick police say the man was hit as he “ran into the path of the marked police vehicle” just after 11:15 p.m. in the area of Sunny Cove Drive. He was not in a crosswalk at the time.
The man was taken to Kent Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, according to police.
No other injuries were reported.
In a news release Tuesday morning, police said the initial investigation “determined that there was no impairment on the part of the officer, speed was not a factor in the crash and that there is no evidence of distracted driving as contributing causes in the collision.”
Police also told Eyewitness News the officer was on routine patrol and not responding to a call when the collision took place, so the cruiser’s lights and sirens were not active.
The victim’s sister, Amanda Adams, visited the spot where her brother was hit to place flowers in his memory. She said he leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter.
“He lived his life for his daughter,” Adams said. “He just did everything he could to take care of her. He made her into a tomboy, fishing and catching worms and playing with bugs anything to make her happy.”
Area residents say that stretch of road can be dangerous.
“It’s a busy road, not that many pedestrians on it,” William Peotrowski Jr. said. “People tend to go over the speed limit.”
Peotrowski has lived in the area for about 15 years and said this is a tragedy for all involved.
“They have my sympathy, they’ll have my prayers. I feel for them,” he said. “It’s a very unfortunate incident that happened for the victim, for the family, and for the police officer and his family. I’m sure he is troubled and shaken up by it.”
Investigators are now working to piece together the events leading up to the collision including the victim’s actions. Police appeared to be using the same cruiser to reenact the incident Tuesday afternoon.
Adams hopes the investigation continues.
“I want to make sure he wasn’t distracted…or did he have his lights on?” she said. “Because my brother knew his daughter was home, he wouldn’t jump in front of a police car. To get hit crossing the street by the people who are supposed to protect, I don’t want to put blame on anyone but this is a nightmare.”
Rhode Island State Police and the attorney general’s office are assisting Warwick police with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call (401) 468-4200.