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Woonsocket man sentenced for reckless driving in 2017 fatal crash

Mitchell Savard (age 43), of Woonsocket was sentenced today to five years to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) by Superior Court Justice Maureen B. Keough for his role in a 2017 fatal crash on Interstate 295. The Court sentenced Savard to 10 years with 5 years to serve, 5 years suspended, and 10 years of probation on one count of reckless driving, death resulting. The Court also ordered that Savard lose his license for three years upon his release from the ACI. In addition, he received five years suspended and five years of probation on one count of reckless driving, serious bodily injury resulting. The sentences are concurrent.

"Our highways are no place for this kind of dangerous and completely unnecessary behavior," said Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. "While today's sentence will never bring back Mr. Salazar or take away the pain and suffering of his family, nor will it take away Mr. Salgado's pain and suffering, it does hold this defendant accountable for his conduct and hopefully sends a powerful message to other drivers."

Savard was found guilty on November 1, 2019 by a Providence County Superior Court jury of one count of reckless driving, death resulting and one count of reckless driving, serious bodily injury resulting.

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that during the morning of March 30, 2017, Savard became involved in a road rage incident while traveling on Interstate 295 and caused a fatal multi-vehicle accident. Eric Salazar was killed in the accident and his passenger Andy Salgado was seriously injured.

That morning, Savard was traveling north on Interstate 295 in the area of Johnston, when he passed into the middle lane in front of a tow truck. The operator of the tow truck honked his horn at Savard, who then abruptly braked in the middle lane, coming to a complete stop. Savard's sudden breaking caused a chain reaction where the tow truck and following traffic were forced to stop and/or swerve to avoid a collision.

Eric Salazar was driving a box truck traveling behind the tow truck and was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. The box truck crashed into the back of the tow truck, killing Eric Salazar and seriously injuring his passenger, Andy Salgado.

Sergeant Jeff L'Heureux and Detective Robert Hopkins of the Rhode Island State Police led the investigation into the case. Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan and Special Assistant Attorney General Jessica Villella prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.

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