Family investigating after man died in crash off bridge

Family investigating after man died in crash off bridge

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The family of an Oxford, Mass., man who died in a construction zone crash on Route 146 last September has hired a private investigator to determine what led to the accident.

David Campbell, 64, was driving on Route 146 shortly before 1 a.m. on Sept. 3 when he drove his vehicle into the construction zone surrounding the replacement of the bridge over Greenville Road. At the time, Capt. Stephen Riccitelli of the North Smithfield Police Department told The Breeze Campbell drove into an area that appeared as a paved lane of travel but was actually reserved for construction workers. Police were investigating how it was that Campbell was able to drive to the right of a jersey barrier, ultimately leaving the highway completely and landing on Greenville Road below.

Riccitelli confirmed this week the NSPD has completed its investigation and developed an accident reconstruction report. The Valley Breeze requested a copy of that report under the Access to Public Records Act but had not yet received it as of press time.

Campbell’s family has begun their own investigation of the crash, hiring retired Rhode Island State Police Capt. Michael Iarossi to gather information about the incident. Iarossi told The Breeze last week that he has some leads, but he doesn’t know how substantive they are.

“We’re just looking for general input,” he said. “Is there someone else who traveled through that stretch of highway prior to or just after the accident?”

The family published an ad in the Dec. 17 issue of The Breeze seeking information about what the construction zone might have looked like on the night of Sept. 2.

The family declined to speak with The Breeze, but their lawyer, Michael Quinn, said they are devastated by what happened. He described Campbell as a loving husband and the father of four adult children, who was still working at the time of his death.

“We’re looking for the public’s help if we could get it,” he said.

Quinn would not comment on whether the investigation will become a lawsuit, but he said the group has been actively investigating since before Christmas on what the area looked like in the days prior to Campbell’s death. At the moment, he said, he’s aware of one other person who almost “went off the cliff” in the same area the night before Campbell’s death.

“And I’m trying to better understand whether anybody else has information about what that construction zone looked like around that time. Because obviously our investigation’s dedicated to understanding how it was that David was able to access that construction area,” he said.

In response to a request for comment, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said they are not aware of any private investigation and directed all inquiries to the North Smithfield Police Department. The contractor for the bridge project is Cardi Corporation, according to RIDOT.

Quinn said he can’t determine at this point who was in control of the construction zone at the time of the accident. The investigators, he said, have been in contact with local police.

“There’s been some information exchanged, and the North Smithfield Police Department has been excellent,” he said.

Quinn said the timeline of the investigation will likely depend on how quickly information is received from the public. The family is asking anyone with information about the crash to email Iarossi at campbell.investigation@gmail.com.