A Toyota pickup truck crashed in reverse gear through the storefront of Wild Birds Unlimited, located in the plaza at 1000 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, shortly after 6pm on Saturday, Sep 24.
The driver of the truck, a man looking to be about 60 years old, after being extricated from his vehicle was seen to be transported by rescue on a stretcher, conscious and alert. He did not appear to have serious injuries.
Update 2022-10-03: According to the Warwick Police report provided to Motif, the driver of the truck was identified as Kenneth M. Savard of Coventry, 68 years old. The report states that he was not tested at the scene but was “Under the Influence of Medications/Drugs/Alcohol,” and that “Warwick Fire was able to get [Savard] out of the vehicle with what appeared to be minor injuries. He was later transported to RI Hospital…” According to the RI court database, Savard was charged before 3rd Division District Court with “DUI of Liquor – Blood Alcohol Concentration Unknown – 1st Offense” (case 31-2022-07557) and before the Traffic Tribunal with “Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test (1st Offense)” (case 22203506425) and “No Insurance 1st Offense” (case 22203506546). The database also reports a previous charge of driving with a suspended motor vehicle license in 1997 with a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) resulting in a $500.00 fine, $139.50 in costs, one year probation, but no loss of license (case 31-1997-05012).
Two women whose Honda SUV had significant visible front-end damage told Motif, declining to give their names, that their vehicle was parked normally in a space when the pickup truck, which they said was traveling at too high a speed for a parking lot, crashed into them head-on. They said the pickup truck immediately after striking them shifted into reverse, then traveled in a straight line through the wall and windows of the storefront.
The women had been shopping at Trader Joe’s, which is in the same plaza, and they had bags of groceries on the ground next to their damaged vehicle. They said they did not appear to be injured.
The Wild Birds Unlimited storefront was severely damaged with shards of brick, glass, and metal thrown beyond the sidewalk and into the parking lot, a distance of as much as 30 feet. Firefighters were sweeping up the larger pieces of debris, including the metal window frames that had been part of the storefront.
Other stores, including Duluth Trading, Panera Bread, and Popeye’s Fried Chicken are in the same plaza.
There was a substantial public safety response involving several police cars, a fire engine and a fire ladder, and a fire department rescue.