Rhode Island State Police Arrest Suspect for Driving Under the Influence/Death
Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces that at 3:24 AM, on March 28, 2015, members of the Lincoln Woods Barracks arrested Hector M. Diaz, age 20, of 44 Bowdoin Street, Providence, Rhode Island for allegedly Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs – Death Resulting, Reckless Driving – Death Resulting, and Driving to Endanger.
On Saturday, March 28, 2015 at approximately 2:46 AM, the State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks received multiple cellular 911 calls, reporting a rollover accident on Route 95 North, south of the Point Street overpass in the City of Providence.
The accident investigation, conducted by members of the Lincoln Woods Barracks and State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, revealed that the 2006 Mazda minivan that was operated by Diaz was traveling on Route 95 North when, at a point approximately three hundred feet south of the Point Street overpass, Diaz lost control of the vehicle. The van exited the right side of the road and struck a light pole, which caused the van to roll over several times.
A twenty-three-year-old Providence man who was seated in the rear of the vehicle was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. At this time, the identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification to next of kin.
The two other passengers in the van were identified as Jennifer Gomez, age 21, and Jasleen Gomez, age 18, both of 14 Jewell Street, Providence, Rhode Island. They were transported to Rhode Island Hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later released.
Diaz displayed obvious signs of impairment at the scene. Troopers placed him in custody and transported him to the Lincoln Woods Barracks where he refused a breathalyzer test. In coordination with the Attorney General’s Office, a court authorized search warrant was prepared by troopers and signed by the Honorable Judge Stephen M. Isherwood. Mr. Diaz was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where blood samples were drawn. Testing of the collected blood samples will be conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Mr. Diaz was arraigned by a Justice of the Peace at the Lincoln Barracks on the charges of:
• Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs – Death Resulting,
• Reckless Driving Death Resulting, and
• Driving to Endanger.
Bail was set at $500,000.00 with surety and Mr. Diaz was sent to the Adult Correctional Institute as a Superior Court Probation Violator from a Larceny from the Person Charge originating from the Rhode Island State Police. He is scheduled to appear for a formal arraignment on Monday, March 30th 2015, in Sixth Division District Court. Mr. Diaz was also summonsed to Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal for Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test.
A person convicted of Driving Under the Influence – Death Resulting – First Offense is subject to imprisonment for not less than five (5) years and for no more than fifteen (15) years, a fine of no less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and his or her license to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked for a period of five (5) years.
A person convicted of Driving to Endanger – Physical Injury Resulting is subject to imprisonment for no more than two (2) years and his or her license to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended for no more than one (1) year.
A person convicted of Reckless Driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first conviction and a felony for the second and each subsequent conviction.
The public is encouraged to report impaired, reckless or aggressive drivers by calling *77 or 9-1-1 from their mobile phone.