Cranston Police release identity of victim in fatal crash

The Cranston Police Department have identified the operator of a 2004 GMC Envoy who was killed in the fiery crash on September 17, 2016 in the area of 550 Pontiac Avenue as Joseph Lacey, age 27 of Providence, Rhode Island. “The State Medical Examiner’s Office had to utilize DNA to make a positive identification, ruling the manner of death was accidental and the cause of death was a result of thermal injuries sustained during the crash and subsequent fire. Extreme speed was also a major contributing factor in the fatal crash. Investigation concluded that the 2004 GMC Envoy was travelling north on Pontiac Avenue at a confirmed minimum speed of 90 mph when it failed to negotiate the curve and crashed, “said Major Todd Patalano.

On Saturday September 17, 2016 shortly before 1:30 AM the Cranston Police received several 9-1-1 calls about a motor vehicle crash in the area of 550 Pontiac Avenue, in which it was on fire. The vehicle involved in the crash was traveling northbound on Pontiac Avenue in which evidence shows it left the roadway at the curve in front of 550 Pontiac Ave. The vehicle then struck a traffic control signal pole as well as a cement block wall. The GMC Envoy then caught fire completely consuming the vehicle and Mr. Lacey who was the single occupant in the driver’s seat. Officers on scene were unable to get close to the vehicle due to the intense heat, extreme temperature and flames, which were followed by small explosions. The Cranston Fire Department responded and extinguished the vehicle.

The accident was investigated by members of the Cranston Police Accident Reconstructionist Unit – Sergeant Brian D’Amico, Cranston Police Detectives, Cranston Police Bureau of Criminal Identification, Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Rhode Island State Medical Examiner’s Office.