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RI Crime

R.I. medical transport driver involved in crash that killed patient charged with DUI, other offenses

Dauda Elegushi, 25, of Providence, faces multiple charges in the crash that police said resulted in the death of a 77-year-old Coventry woman who was being transported back from a dialysis appointment.

PROVIDENCE — The driver for a nonemergency medical transport service involved in a fatal crash has been charged with driving under the influence, resulting in death, according to Coventry police.

Dauda Elegushi, 25, of Providence, faces multiple charges in the crash that police said resulted in the death of a 77-year-old Coventry woman who he was transporting back from a dialysis appointment.

According to police, Elegushi’s vehicle and another car were involved in a collision at Main Street and Abbott’s Crossing Road on the afternoon of Nov. 27.

Four people, including Elegushi, the 77-year-old woman, and two occupants of the other car were taken to the hospital. The 77-year-old woman from Coventry who was in Elegushi’s vehicle died on Friday from injuries she suffered in the crash, police said.

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Elegushi and the two occupants of the other car were later released.

According to Coventry police, charges against Elegushi include:

  • driving under the influence of liquor or drugs, resulting in death
  • driving to endanger resulting in death
  • two counts of driving to endanger, resulting in physical injury
  • obstructing an officer, driving without a license
  • presence of alcohol while operating or driving in a motor vehicle.

Elegushi will be arraigned Wednesday, police said. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available.

Governor Dan McKee’s office previously said the crash involved a company called Assured Transportation, a subcontractor of Medical Transportation Management, Inc.

MTM, as the latter company is known, arranges nonemergency medical transportation for elderly people and people on Medicaid. The governor’s office had previously cited “illegal activity” and “policy violations” related to the crash.

“Our most vulnerable neighbors, seniors and loved ones rely on this critical transportation service and we need to make sure we have a provider who provides high-quality services to our patients,” McKee said previously. “My prayers go out to the victim’s family. Every and all options are on the table to hold MTM accountable – this cannot happen again.”

MTM’s vice president of public affairs, Phil Stalboerger, said in a statement over the weekend that it terminated its contract with the company that was transporting the patient on learning the details of the crash.

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Stalboerger said in a follow-up statement Monday that MTM is conducting a “thorough audit of the Rhode Island transportation companies in our network to discern whether other unapproved drivers were used to transport passengers.”

He added: “We have notified all transportation companies of the audit and reiterated that MTM will take swift, punitive action for infractions or policy violations. We will cooperate with the Rhode Island State Police and Attorney General Neronha on their investigation into this tragic event and will work collaboratively with the State to ensure that our Rhode Island passengers are transported safely.”

Also Monday, the state released two incident reports filed by MTM about the crash.

In one, dated Nov. 30, three days after the crash, a social worker at a facility contacted MTM to say that the woman was involved in a car crash on the way back from an appointment. The woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital and in critical condition, the report said.

The provider, Assured, hadn’t told MTM about it, MTM’s report said. Assured was suspended at that time.

That same afternoon, Assured faxed MTM to report the incident that MTM had already heard about from the social worker, MTM said.

On Dec. 2, the Coventry police told MTM that the patient had died. (This conflicts by one day with Coventry’s news release, which said she succumbed to her injuries on Dec. 3.)

“MTM has learned that the driver of Assured Transportation’s vehicle was not qualified, credentialed, or an authorized driver under Assured Transportation’s contract with MTM,” MTM wrote in a second incident report.

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A man named Mustapha picked up the phone at a number listed for Greenville-based Assured Transportation on Monday. Mustapha Opere-Toyin is listed as the manager of Assured in corporate records. The phone call quickly disconnected.


Brian Amaral can be reached at brian.amaral@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.