By BEACON STAFF
An investigation remains ongoing after a Warwick Police cruiser fatally struck a pedestrian Monday night on West Shore Road.
In a statement released Wednesday, police identified the pedestrian as 25-year-old Brian Adams of Warwick Avenue. The officer involved has been identified as Thomas Paine, who has been with Warwick Police since 2017.
Chief of Police Col. Rick Rathbun said authorities are awaiting the results of Adams’s autopsy. He said that as protocol dictates following an officer-involved death, Paine has been placed on paid administrative leave. The attorney general’s office and Rhode Island State Police are involved with the probe.
The chief said he is also sensitive to the protections provided under the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and declined to comment further.
“This is a very active investigation involving the State Police,” he said.
Rathbun did add that at the time of the crash, Paine was “just driving down the road, no [emergency] lights or sirens.”
In an initial statement Tuesday, police said the accident occurred at 11:17 p.m. on Nov. 25. According to the statement, the pedestrian later identified as Adams “ran into the path of the marked police cruiser” near the intersection of West Shore Road and Sunny Cove Drive. Police say at least one other vehicle on the road at the time nearly struck the pedestrian as well.
Police say Adams was transported to Kent Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Tuesday’s statement indicates an initial investigation by Warwick accident reconstruction officers and State Police found that “there was no impairment on the part of the officer, speed was not a factor in the crash and that there is no evidence of distracted driving as contributing causes in the collision.” Police have also said Adams was not in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.
On Wednesday morning, a small memorial to Adams had been created at the base of a utility pole near the scene of the crash. Two bunches of flowers had been placed at the site, with one bearing a card that reads: “Our prayers and thoughts are with you all the time.”
According to an obituary submitted Wednesday, Adams is survived by a daughter, his parents, a sister and two nephews.
“Brian was devoted to his daughter and nephews, and was very involved in their lives,” the obituary reads. “He also loved fishing and spending time with family and friends.”
Visiting hours and a funeral are scheduled for Dec. 2.