By LINDSAY OLIVIER
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Two local residents have been charged for their roles in a tragic accident in East Greenwich that took the lives of two North Kingstown teenagers last month.
Nicolas Whiteley, 21, of North Kingstown, faces two charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol-death resulting, two counts of driving to endanger-death resulting and driving to endanger-resulting in injury.
A second individual, Patrick Gronhagen, 21, of East Greenwich, faces two counts of driving to endanger-death resulting and driving to endanger-resulting in injury.
All of the charges come from the East Greenwich Police Department.
According to EGPD Sergeant Jon Chirnside, Whiteley and Gronhagen were returning from Denny’s restaurant in West Greenwich when Whiteley was attempting to “overtake” another vehicle which was driven by Gronhagen, when the crash occurred.
Madeline Healey, 18 and Michael Ruggieri, 19, both of North Kingstown, were killed in the incident when the Dodge Ram truck they were riding in – which was driven by Whiteley – struck two large rocks on the east side of Shippeetown Road, became airborne, sheared off a telephone pole and landed upside down.
Another passenger in the truck, Christopher Mortin, 19, of North Kingstown, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital along with Whiteley. Ruggieri and Healey were pronounced dead at the scene.
Whiteley and Gronhagen will be arraigned today at the Kent County Courthouse.