WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A man charged with driving drunk and causing a crash that killed the woman he was transporting from a medical appointment was brought to court Friday.
Dauda Elegushi, 26, of Providence, pleaded not guilty to charges of DUI resulting in death, driving to endanger, and driving to endanger resulting in death.
Police allege Elegushi was intoxicated while he was driving a 77-year-old Coventry woman from a dialysis appointment on the afternoon of Nov. 27. He crashed his vehicle into another at the intersection of Main Street and Abbotts Crossing Road, sending him and his passenger to the hospital, along with two people from the second vehicle.
His passenger died several days later, according to police, while Elegushi and the two others were treated for their injuries and released.
At the time of the crash, officials said Elegushi was working for a subcontractor for Medical Transport Management (MTM), the state’s non-emergency medical transportation provider. However, MTM later revealed he “was not qualified, credentialed, or an authorized driver under Assured Transportation’s contract with MTM.”
The R.I. Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) said an audit revealed that Elegushi used a fake name, failed to properly secure his passenger, had an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, and was under the influence of a controlled substance.
MTM immediately terminated its contract with Assured Transportation, and was later fined $600,000 as a result of the deadly crash.
Gov. Dan McKee ordered MTM to review the credentials of all its subcontractors, which resulted in eight additional contracts being terminated for noncompliance, according to the EOHHS.
Those reasons, according to MTM, range from drivers not having the proper credentials to sexual harassment claims.
Elegushi’s bail was set at $20,000 with surety, and the judge ordered him to surrender his passport and not to drive. Prosecutors say he’s a Nigerian citizen who’s overstayed his visa.
Elegushi is due back in court June 23 for a pretrial hearing.