A pedestrian was hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle Sunday night on Airport Road, while the Diocese of Providence has confirmed a man charged with driving under the influence in connection with the accident is a local priest.
Jacek Ploch, 38, of 445 Washington St. in Coventry, was released to the custody of a sober adult after being processed at headquarters Sunday night, according to a statement from Warwick Police. He was issued a summons to appear in Third Division District Court on Aug. 8.
In a statement Monday, the diocese confirmed that Ploch has served as pastor at two Coventry parishes – St. Vincent de Paul and Our Lady of Czenstochowa – since 2013 and 2017, respectively.
“Our thoughts and prayers go first of all to the victim of the accident on Airport Road. We pray for a full and speedy recovery,” the statement reads.
It continues: “While Father Ploch has served this diocese and his parishes well, spiritual leaders must always strive to set a good example for others. Whenever a priest is involved in an unfortunate situation like this, he is subject to the consequences of civil law, and potentially to canonical sanctions as well. The Diocese will respond to this situation as more details become available.”
According to police, the accident occurred just before 9:30 p.m. in the area of 767 Airport Road. Initial reports indicated a male pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle – a 2018 Jeep Wrangler – and was lying in the roadway.
The pedestrian was reportedly crossing Airport Road from north to south near the KFC and was not in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.
At the scene, emergency responders found the pedestrian conscious with an “apparent extremity injury.” He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment and was listed in stable condition.
The crash remains under investigation by the Warwick Police Traffic Unit reconstruction team, according to the statement.
Anyone with information regarding the accident is asked to contact Sgt. Robert T. Hart at 468-4293.