Police ID victim in fiery crash

The Cranston Herald ·

Police have released the identity of a man killed in a fiery crash on Pontiac Avenue earlier this month.

Joseph Lacey, 25, of Providence, was positively identified by the state Medical Examiner’s Office using DNA, Maj. Todd Patalano said in a statement.

The cause of death was found to be thermal injuries, and “extreme speed” was identified as a “major contributing factor” in the crash.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 17 following reports of the incident. An investigation found a red 2004 GMC Envoy had been traveling north in the area of 550 Pontiac Ave. at speeds in excess of 90 mph when it lost control, striking a pole and a cement block wall.

The vehicle then burst into flames, the intensity of which – coupled with small explosions – initially prevented responders from getting close. Fire personnel extinguished the blaze.

Lacey was the vehicle’s driver and sole occupant, Patalano said.

The major credited the members of the Cranston Police Accident Reconstructionist Unit, Sgt. Brian D’Amico, Cranston detectives, the Cranston Police Bureau of Criminal Identification, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Medical Examiner’s Office for their roles in the investigation.

“This is a very difficult and tragic incident handled by our first responding officers and investigators,” Patalano said through an earlier statement. “We express our deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased occupant.”