080719 POL winnapaug road crash from police

Westerly police said a Massachusetts man struck a parked car, then drove into a utility pole on Saturday night along Winnapaug Road. Courtesy Westerly Police Department

WESTERLY — A Massachusetts man is facing charges after he struck a parked car, severed a utility pole, and then fled the crash on foot.

The man, Jose Anibal Nieves-Espada, 41, of Groton, Mass., was charged late Saturday with driving under the influence with an unknown blood alcohol content, failure to submit to a chemical test, and failure to stop at a crash involving damage to property. According to police records, he was later released on bond.

Westerly police and emergency personnel were dispatched to Winnapaug Road just south of its intersection with Airport Road shortly before 11 p.m. after a caller reported the crash. Officers found a Dodge pickup truck at the scene, but witnesses told the police that Nieves-Espada had gotten out immediately after the crash and walked away.

The police found Nieves-Espada walking along Watch Hill Road and asked if he'd been in a crash. Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said he responded, "Yeah, you got me."

The police said he failed a field sobriety test and consented to a breathalyzer test at the scene, which returned a blood alcohol content of .135. He refused another test at the police station.

The police said that Nieves-Espada was staying in Misquamicut and had gotten into a argument with his girlfriend at a bar and then drove away. He veered off the roadway on northbound Winnapaug Road and hit the rear of a parked car at 189 Winnapaug Road, then the side of the car, and finally through a utility pole and into the yard at 191 Winnapaug Road, the police said.

Nieves-Espada was not injured, the police said. The crash caused significant damage to both vehicles, and  National Grid was called. The road was closed for about 45 minutes while repairs were made.

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