Six injured in Pascoag crash; Firefighters respond to three calls by Wallum Lake in three hours

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BURRILLVILLE – A two-vehicle crash on Old Wallum Lake Road early Sunday morning left six people with injuries, including two in serious condition, according to emergency responders.

Police say a Burrillville man now is facing several charges related to the incident, including one count of driving under the influence.

The accident was just one of three calls that came in over the course of three hours at the Pascoag Fire Department, all within the same two-block radius.

Pascoag Fire Chief Michael Dexter said the first call, reporting a shed or barn fire, came in around 10:26 p.m. on Saturday, August 6.

“All companies responded, and found on scene that it wasn’t any kind of structure,” Dexter said.

The chief said the blaze at 180 Old Wallum Lake Road turned out to be yard waste and construction debris.

A picture shared by a reader shows the fire just over the tree line.

“He had a fire pit burning and he put a lot of material on it, including stuff he shouldn’t have,” Dexter said of the homeowner.

While firefighters were on scene, they got reports of another possible fire just up the street at 541 Wallum Lake Road.

“They weren’t even a half a mile or so apart,” Dexter said. “It worked out because all of the trucks were either on scene or responding, so they response time was nothing, probably a minute or two.”

The second call was also relatively minor according to the chief, with crews investigating the cause of smoke coming from electrical outlets at the home.

The final call however, was more serious.

Six people were evaluated, and four transported to the hospital following an accident on Old Wallum Lake Road around 1:30 a.m.

Thomas Yasick, 43, of Burrillville was arrested and charged with DUI, BAC unknown; operating with a suspended license and reckless driving following police investigation.

Lt. Ryan Hughes said Yasick was operating a pickup truck, and that the two vehicles involved in the crash then bumped into a third car parked in a nearby driveway.

“Based on our investigative efforts, it was determined he was traveling northbound and crossed over into the other lane of travel,” Hughes said.

Yasick was one of two people at the scene brought to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries, and Hughes said he refused to submit to a chemical test. The lieutenant said all of the vehicle occupants were from either Burrillville or Glocester.

The accident marked a busy weekend for Pascoag responders, including the new chief hired just last month. One of four deputy fire chiefs currently working for the town of Smithfield, Dexter responded to a request for applicants to lead the village district in April, and started the job in Burrillville on Monday, July 18.

A Smithfield resident, Dexter has served that town for 34 years, and was officially hired to the Smithfield Fire Department in 1995.

“I started as a volunteer,” he told NRI NOW. “I’ve been a career fireman for 27 years. I’ve held every rank here in Smithfield besides chief.”

Dexter will continue serving the neighboring town while taking on the additional part-time role leading the Pascoag Fire Department.

Editor’s note: The above article was updated and edited following information provided by the Burrillville Police Department. Police said that four people were transported to the hospital, not six as originally stated.

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