Rhode Island State Police Arrests Subject for Driving Under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs Death Resulting Due to Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash on Route 2 South in the Town of Exeter

Rhode Island – Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces that on February 25, 2016 at approximately 10:05 p.m., members of the Rhode Island State Police responded to a 911 phone call reporting a motor vehicle crash on Route 2 south in the Town of Exeter, Rhode Island. Upon further investigation, Troopers arrested an Exeter man for Driving under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs, Resulting in Death, Driving Under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury (2 counts), Driving so as to Endanger, Resulting in Death and Driving so as to Endanger, resulting in serious bodily injury (2 counts).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2005 Nissan Altima, containing four (4) occupants, was traveling southbound on Route 2 (South County Trail). Within approximately 300 feet of Yawgoo Valley Road, the Altima veered to the right and partially exited the roadway striking a mailbox. The Nissan then veered left and crossed both lanes of travel while rotating counter clockwise. The Nissan then exited the northbound side of the roadway and struck a utility pole. The Nissan then came to rest in the front yard of 642 South County Trail.

Members of the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, Wickford Barracks, Forensic Science Unit, Major Crimes Unit and the Attorney General’s office revealed that upon preliminary investigation, speed and alcohol may have been factors leading to this crash.
Preliminary investigation found four occupants, who were not wearing seatbelts, were transported to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injury. The front seat passenger, Heidi Malstrom, age 17, of 118 Station Street Coventry, Rhode Island sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital. One rear passenger, Daniel Duffy, age 22, of 915 Ten Rod Road, Apt #3, North Kingstown, Rhode Island was ejected from the vehicle and is presently listed in critical condition. A second rear passenger, Cameron Millar, age 20, of 32 Hillsdale Road, West Kingstown, Rhode Island has sustained serious non- life threatening injuries.

The operator of the Nissan, Scott Gavitt, age 18, of 99 School Land Wood Road, Exeter, Rhode Island sustained serious non-life threatening injuries. Mr. Gavitt displayed signs of impairment on scene and upon arrival at Rhode Island Hospital consented to a blood examination, where results are currently pending.

Mr. Gavitt was processed and charged with the following criminal offenses:

• Driving under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs, resulting in Death
• Driving Under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury (2 counts)
• Driving so as to endanger, resulting in Death
• Driving so as to endanger, resulting in serious bodily injury (2 counts)

Mr. Gavitt was arraigned at Rhode Island Hospital before The Honorable Judge Anthony Capraro and held on $100,000.00 surety bail. He is scheduled to appear at McGrath Judicial Complex April 24, 2016 for a pre-arraignment conference.

A person convicted of Driving under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs resulting in death may be imprisoned for not less than five (5) years and for not more than fifteen (15) years, a fine of not 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 under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs, resulting in serious bodily injury may be imprisoned for not less than one year and for not more than ten (10) years, a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and his or her license to operate a motor vehicle may be revoked for a period of up to two (2) years.
A person convicted of Driving so as to endanger, resulting in death may be imprisoned for not more than ten (10) years and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for no more than five (5) years.

A person convicted of Driving so as to endanger, resulting in serious bodily injury may be imprisoned for not more than five (5) years and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for no more than three (3) years.