A Webster man was charged in the deaths of a young couple after he allegedly swerved into oncoming traffic while driving drunk in Providence early Sunday morning, Rhode Island State Police said in a statement.
Joel Norman, 24, was arrested at the scene and was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs resulting in death, and two counts of driving to endanger resulting in death, State Police said.
This was Norman’s first drunken driving arrest, State Police Captain Robert Wall said.
Police said Norman was driving the wrong way on Route 6 East near Toby Street around 1:30 a.m. when he hit a Honda Civic head-on.
Tiffany Sical, 21, of Providence was driving the car, and her boyfriend, Bryan Rodriguez-Solis, 23, of Central Falls, was in the passenger seat. Sical was pronounced dead at the scene. Rodriguez-Solis was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Sical and Rodriguez-Solis were wearing their seat belts, State Police said.
Norman was arraigned by a justice of peace Sunday morning and is being held on $100,000 bail. He refused a breathalyzer test, but state troopers at the scene said he was intoxicated.
He is scheduled to appear June 12 in Providence Sixth Division District Court.
Freddy Areola, Sical’s uncle, said he was devastated by the news.
“It’s terrible,” he said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know how this happened.”
Areola said Sical and Rodriguez-Solis planned to get married. The couple had a young daughter.