Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate recounts fatal roadside accident

Jan. 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM
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PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Cranston, R.I., Mayor Allen Fung, running for governor, recounted a fatal roadside accident he caused in 1989 in a newspaper story published Monday.

Fung, 43, a Republican, said he approached the Providence Journal to tell the story now because he believes if he does not, someone else will, with the aim of ending his bid to become Rhode Island governor.

In a 2-hour interview he noted he has told the story only a few times, the newspaper reported.

Fung, a University of New Haven freshman in 1989, said he was driving home from college to help at his parents' Cranston restaurant, "lost consciousness" and was awakened by the car crash. He found a man lying on the ground when he left his vehicle. Fung was arrested and charged with driving to endanger, death resulting.

The victim, James Skipper Jr., had stopped in the breakdown lane of the road to change a flat tire when he was struck.

A grand jury chose not to indict Fung.

An out-of-court settlement was reached in which Skipper's family was paid $112,000, information provided by Fung said. He added some of the money came from an insurance company, the rest from Fung's parents.

"People should not hold that against him," Joyce Strange, Skipper's sister, said.

To this day, Fung said, he was not sure what made him lose consciousness, but mentioned he was hospitalized a year earlier for an overactive thyroid, a condition for which he still takes medication.

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