Hopkinton man charged in Richmond crash that killed Wakefield civil rights lawyer


A man from Hopkinton was charged in a July accident that killed a well-known Rhode Island civil rights lawyer and injured his wife, Richmond Police said.

Rosheed F. Faison, 40, of 78 Spring Street, was arraigned Thursday on charges of endangered driving, resulting death and endangered driving, resulting bodily harm, both crimes, Richmond police said in a statement. Press.

The July 1 crash in front of Richmond Elementary School killed H. Jefferson Melish, 73, seriously injured his wife, Joanne, 74, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Following:Civil rights lawyer Melish recalled as tireless advocate for the oppressed

Following:Police release name of Wakefield man killed last week in Richmond crash

At approximately 3:45 p.m. on July 1, Faison was driving a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck east on Kingstown Road when it lost control in a left turn, crossed the double yellow line and collided with the 2019 Subaru Melish which was driving in the westbound lane, Richmond police said in a statement.

Faison, alone in the truck, was not injured in the head-on collision, police said.

Richmond Police said the department had conducted a reconstruction investigation into the crash which concluded that Faison had driven the truck with “a reckless disregard for the safety of others.”

The investigation included interviews with witnesses, examining video evidence from cameras external to the school and analyzing information event data recorders from the two vehicles, police said. Rhode Island State Police assisted Richmond Police in retrieving information about the event data.

Melish has handled numerous cases for the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island.

“He has been a very active volunteer lawyer for the ACLU for a few decades, handling many cases for us. He has also served on our board of directors for many years,” said previously Steven Brown, Executive Director of the ACLU.

Brown said: “He was a great asset to the ACLU and his death is truly tragic.”

The Melish family say they are grateful to all the police and firefighters who responded to this accident, especially the Caroline firefighters “without whom our mother would not have survived,” her daughter Rachel Zinkand wrote in an email.

“We would also like to thank the ICU trauma team at Rhode Island Hospital,” Zinkand said.

The case will be presented to the Rhode Island attorney general’s office for criminal review on Nov. 5, Richmond police said.

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(401) 277-7614

On Twitter: @jgregoryperry


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