N.S. man arrested following crash with utility pole, allegedly fleeing scene

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WOONSOCKET – A North Smithfield man allegedly had too much to drink before he crashed his pickup into a utility pole on Providence Street and fled the scene.

Daniel Michael Salvas, 61, of 52 Overlea Road, is charged with driving under the influence with an unknown BAC, or blood alcohol concentration; refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test; refusal to submit to a chemical test; and leaving the scene of an accident involving a highway fixture.

Driving a maroon 2002 Silverado, Salvas allegedly slammed into a utility pole near 545 Providence St. at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30, a crash that left the vehicle with a crumpled front-end and a blown-out tire. Both front-seat airbags also deployed.

Despite the damage, Salvas allegedly continued driving the compromised vehicle for roughly a quarter mile, to 247 Ave. C., which is where the police caught up with him on the side of the road.

When police asked Salvas why he didn’t stop, he allegedly told them he knew his son lived on Avenue C and wanted to get the vehicle off the street. During the initial encounter with him, one police officer reported he observed Salvas’ son providing multiple pieces of chewing gum to Salvas, which he, “stuffed,” into his mouth.

“Salvas was slightly slurring his words and I could only smell gum on his breath,” Sgt. Jesse Nunnemacher observed. “I noticed he was unsteady on his feet and confused when asked statements.” 

Based on the observations of Nunnemacher and other police officers who were dispatched to investigate, Salvas was instructed to perform a series of field sobriety tests, the results of which led them to suspect he’d been driving under the influence. Salvas allegedly admitted to have consumed two beers and two shots of hard liquor about two hours before he apparently lost control of the vehicle.

But at the scene of the crash Salvas allegedly declined to take a preliminary breath test, and after being transported to police headquarters he did them same when asked to take a standard breath-alcohol test, according to police reports.

According to the judiciary’s web site, Salvas has prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance, fifth-degree arson and driving on a suspended of license, but until the August 30 arrest he hadn’t been in any trouble since 2011.

He’s presently free on $1,000 personal recognizance pending formal arraignment in Sixth District Court on Thursday, Sept. 7, the judiciary’s web site says.

Follow Russ Olivo on X @russolivo

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1 COMMENT

  1. “Salvas was slightly slurring his words and I could only smell gum on his breath,” Sgt. Jesse Nunnemacher observed. “I noticed he was unsteady on his feet and confused when asked statements.”

    Uh, Jesse? When someone is asked something, it’s called a question. You don’t “ask statements” Man…this guy is a Sgt?

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