Gubernatorial hopeful discloses decades-old crash that killed a man

January 13, 2014

The Providence Journal reports that Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, the GOP's top hope in Rhode Island's open 2014 governor's race, says he was involved in a 1989 crash that killed a man.

Fung says he was charged but has since had the record expunged. He said the case went to a grand jury but that he was never indicted.

From the Journal:

It was shortly before 9 a.m. on a cold and cloudy Friday morning in February 1989, and somewhere along a straight stretch of 95 that parallels Doric Avenue, Fung “lost consciousness.” For how long, he doesn’t know. What he remembers is that he was awakened by a crash, and when he stopped his car and got out, a man was lying on the ground.

Emergency crews responded, and state police troopers, after hearing Fung’s explanation that he had fallen asleep, ushered him to the front seat of a cruiser for a drive to the barracks in Lincoln.

On the way, he heard a report over the police radio about the man’s condition. He was dead.

“I remember breaking down,” Fung said. “I just was kind of in shock.”

Fung, eight days shy of his 19th birthday, was arrested and charged with driving to endanger, death resulting.

Fung added that he's disclosing the situation now because he fears it will become an issue in his recently launched campaign. He said people have already approached him asking about it.

“I hate discussing it, but I guess it’s getting out there, and, unfortunately, in the world that we live in, with politics, if those two individuals approached me, who knows how many more people might have heard something but are afraid to approach me,” he told the Journal. “So that’s why I am having this conversation, even though it is very difficult. I trust that the voters, not only of Cranston but people of the state of Rhode Island, have that trust in me and can see that it’s part of me and this is something that is … part of the ups and downs of my life that have made me who I am. And I trust that they’ll understand, hopefully, understand what happened.”

If he wins his party's nomination, Fung is likely to face either state Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) or Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D) in the general election. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) is retiring.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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