A young man and woman were killed in a crash in Burrillville, Rhode Island. The driver, 19-year-old Andrew Long, veered off the road and into a tree. Investigators believe that extreme speed was a factor in the accident.
BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The investigation into the tragic crash that claimed the lives of a young man and woman in Burrillville last week is still ongoing. On Friday afternoon, officers swiftly responded to reports of a serious crash on Lapham Farm Road near Mowry Street. According to investigators, the driver, 19-year-old Andrew Long, veered off the roadway and collided with a tree.
Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch described the scene as “incredibly difficult and horrific,” as the vehicle had been completely destroyed and was engulfed in flames. Sadly, Long was pronounced dead at the scene, while his passenger, 18-year-old Ariel Welch, was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital. Tragically, Welch later succumbed to her injuries.
Although the exact cause of the crash remains uncertain, Lynch believes that “extreme speed” played a significant role. The winding nature of the roadway likely contributed to the accident as well. He emphasized that the crash was avoidable, adding that it is an unfortunate and tragic event.
A memorial has been established at the base of the tree to honor Long and Welch. The community has come together to pay their respects and grieve the loss of these young lives.
In a statement, Burrillville Superintendent Michael Sollitto confirmed that Long was a recent graduate of Ponaganset High School, class of 2023. Welch also attended school in the district at one point. Sollitto expressed his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, acknowledging that their lives were cut short far too soon.
As the investigation continues, authorities will work to determine the exact circumstances that led to this devastating crash. The loss of these young individuals serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of safe and responsible driving..