21 Aug 2014
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Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash

A truck crashed into two telephone poles Tuesday afternoon on East Main Road. You won't believe what happened after.

Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash Man Allegedly Drives 80 MPH in Snow Before Crash
A man was arrested Tuesday after the pickup truck he was driving allegedly reached estimated speeds of 80 mph and crashed into two utility poles on East Main Road, all during the start of a snowstorm. 

William DeFusco, 31, of no known address, was charged with reckless driving, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a chemical test. 

The incident began Tuesday at 1:45 p.m., when two Portsmouth police officers were returning from court.

The officers were on East Main Road in the area of Oliphant Lane, when they saw a red pickup truck traveling north at a high rate of speed on East Main Road.

The officers had recently heard a BOLO alert from Middletown police, asking to be on the lookout for a stolen red pickup truck in the area. 

However, due to the snowy weather conditions and amount of traffic, the officers decided to not pursue the vehicle. They called in the sighting to police headquarters to alert other officers in area. 

They also saw the vehicle begin to swerve into the southbound lane. 

Another police officer, patrolling in a cruiser on East Main Road at Woodland Drive, spotted the truck. He estimated the vehicle to be traveling north on East Main Road at an estimated speed of 80 mph. 

Shortly thereafter, the 1997 GMC truck crashed into two telephone poles near Trinity Cemetery, just north of Aquidneck Island Christian Academy. 

A Portsmouth police officer sprang to action, pulling the driver out of the pickup truck before rescue crews arrived. DeFusco complained of minor pain. He was transported by ambulance to Newport Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

According to police, the driver's speech was slurred. He was unsteady on his feet and his eyes barely opened, police said. 

He was arraigned by a justice of the peace and remains at the hospital for further evaluation.

Middletown police were notified of the stolen vehicle. 

As a result of the crash, East Main Road was temporarily closed to traffic Tuesday during the storm. Traffic was also diverted down Sandy Point Avenue for about an hour.

The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time. 

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