The driver of the SUV involved in the fatal crash on Oaklawn Avenue early Sunday morning had an outstanding warrant for probation violation out of Florida in connection with two previous DUI incidents, Cranston Police reported today.
Police continue to investigate the fiery crash that started with a police pursuit in Warwick and ended when 34-year-old Brandon Borge of 264 Brayton Ave., Somerset, crashed the SUV into an abutment at the Routes 2 and 5 split. He had been clocked at 91 to 94 mph according to police radar readings and was driving so erratically, police believe he was on alcohol or drugs.
The passenger and owner of the SUV, Barbara Ellis, 34, died in the crash.
Cranston Police released a narrative of the events leading up to the crash this afternoon.
In it, it describes Officer Joshua Myer trying to extinguish the burning SUV, which caught fire after the crash, at the same time he tried to pull Borge and Ellis from the vehicle.
He was later treated at Rhode Island Hospital for smoke inhalation and cuts, but not after he and officers from Warwick Police, State Police put out the fire and extricated both passengers.
Myer reportedly was heading south on Bald Hill Road near Herb Chambers Cadillac when he saw the white Ford Freestyle "operating erratically at a very high rate of speed.
As the vehicle passed under the Centerville Road overpass, "it slowed briefly but began to accelerate once again, continuing north on Route 2," the release stated. "Officer Myer noted that considering the vehicle's excessive speed and erratic operation, the operator may have been under the influence of liquor or drugs."
The SUV continued north onto Route 2, varying speeds and exceeding the speed limit. The car was operating left of center, "actually straddling the white dotted lines that separate the north and southbound lanes," police said. It was then that Myer attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
Once his lights were activated, the SUV "slowed for a moment" and then turned east onto Tollgate Road. The SUV then made an abrupt 180 degree turn and went back onto Route 2, where it again accelerated at a high rate of speed."
The SUV was swerving back and forth and at one point, it seemed as if it was going to turn onto 295 North, but swerved back onto Route 2 towards Cranston. As it raced past W.B. Mason, Myer lost sight of the SUV as it approached the Route 2 and 5 split.
When Myer crested the hill, he saw the SUV smashed against the abutment of the Meshanticut Viaduct Bridge. The car caught on fire moments later.
Borge was pinned inside. Myer grabbed a fire extingusiher and sprayed the engine compartment. Additional officers arrived and they put out the flames and removed the occupants.
Borge reportedly lost both legs in the crash and and remains in trauma intensive care at Rhode Island Hospital.
Police said Borge was operating on a suspended license in addition to the Florida probation violation warrant.
Police did not say what, if any, charges Borge will face as a result of the investigation.