PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two men accused of causing a fiery crash in Johnston last month that killed two passengers faced a judge on Friday.
Johnston police said video evidence shows Zachary Albanese and Peter Lawrence were racing on Route 6 on Dec. 13 before Albanese lost control of his vehicle and crashed.
Albanese survived the crash, but his two passengers – Taylor Reilly and Dylan Laurenzo – died as a result.
According to a court affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News, multiple eyewitnesses described the street race and alleged reckless actions by both drivers that preceded the crash.
Police said the two men started racing at a high speed when Albanese’s car swerved and crashed into another vehicle before hitting an SUV parked at a gas station, which burst into flames.
Lawrence was not involved in the crash, according to police. Investigators used surveillance footage to track him down, spotting him in his pickup truck a week later.
Police said Lawrence denied trying to race Albanese, whom he did not know, saying “maybe he thought I was trying to race him.”
Albanese, 19, of Johnston, and Lawrence, 26, of Scituate, are both charged with street racing and two counts of driving to endanger, death resulting.
Neither suspect entered a plea in court. Both were released on personal recognizance as they await trial.
The street racing law is also known as the Justin Nunes law, named after a teenager killed in a crash in 2003.