Alleged Drunk Driver Hits Bicyclist on West Main Road

The following incident was reported by the Middletown Police Department. An arrest does not indicate a conviction

Around 11:32 Friday night, 36-year-old Eddy Gomez of Newport was hit by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle on West Main Road.   He was taken to the Newport Hospital and then to the Rhode Island Hospital.  His condition is not known at this time, but his injuries were considered major. 

The driver, Jacob Voelz, 32, of 969 West Main Road, Middletown was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated that involve bodily harm, a felony. 

Police said when they arrived on-scene on West Main Road near Applebees,  the victim was conscious but was bleeding from his mouth and unable to respond.  There was a large dent on the passenger side of the vehicle's hood and the front windshield was severely cracked, said police. 

A witness said Volez’s car collided with the bicycle, causing it to launch in the air. Several witnesses told police that Voelz appeared to be intoxicated.

Police said when they spoke to Voelz he panicked, could not provide his town, was confused and incoherent.  He allegedly told police he had four beers in Newport after work. Police arrested him and brought him to the station where he agreed to a chemical test.  He registered a blood alcohol content of .251 and .252.   Police said he still was incoherent and asked “where he got pulled over.”

The accident is under investigation.  Patch will continue to provide updates as they are made available.

To read Bike Newport's response to the accident, click here.

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imsayin January 13, 2013 at 01:33 AM
There has been AT LEAST one other person (as in not inside a vehicle) hit at this location. There was a lady crossing that got struck by a truck. There's already a light practically right there. The speed limit is already low enough. Drunk driving is a can of worms i'm not even going to start to open right now but i'm guessing there's a fairly general consensus on it. Really though, this seems to be a sketchy spot to walk/ now bike ride. Everyone please be cautious and aware- whether a driver or as a pedestrian.
Robert Purdy January 13, 2013 at 03:31 AM
No the laws need to be more strict and upheld! Like I mentioned what is the difference between someone walking around with a gun playing Russian roulette with people walking down the street? In both cases people are making conscious decisions to possibly end another ones life! The person should be charged with attempted murder who was driving the car! Then people we definitely think twice about driving drunk. As it stands now people figure they can just get away with it at a small penalty.
Robert Purdy January 13, 2013 at 03:32 AM
I totally agree! Make them pay for the crime!
nagaer January 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Brian Cunha tells you all you need to know about the DUI iaws in RI. Arrested 3 times for DUI and he has no criminal record. Look it up on the RI judiciary site. If he gets arrested again he will be charged as a 1st time offender. The general assembly is loaded with defense attorneys who put plenty of loop holes in the laws for personal financial gains. If you want to do something about the weak DUI laws then vote them out.
Jay Down South in Dixie February 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM
A .251 Blood Alcohol level?!?! I'm surprised this moron could even find his car, let alone start it and drive it. Let me guess: minimal, if any, liability insurance, too? Pray for Eddy Gomez.


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