‘It’s pretty fishy’: Family, friends beg for answers after Pawtucket man is killed running across highway

SWANSEA, Mass (WLNE) – Family and friends of a Pawtucket man are searching for answers after the 47-year-old father was killed Saturday while running across Route 195 in Swansea.

According to Massachusetts State Police, Ulise Peńa was traveling westbound on Route 195 in a 2003 Dodge Ram that was driven by a 51-year-old Providence man. A 33-year-old from Providence was also a passenger.

Police said Peńa and the driver got into an altercation, and the driver pulled over into a breakdown lane.

Peńa then exited the pickup truck and ran across all three westbound lanes of Route 195 and onto the eastbound side. He was hit by a Chevy Silverado pickup truck by Exit 8 that was driven by a 21-year-old man from Lincoln.

Troopers responded just before 5:30 p.m. and found Peńa in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We’re searching for answers,” said Joey Batista, a close friend of Peńa’s. “For him to just run off like that and take off in the middle of the highway, it’s unlike him. It’s out of character. So, yeah, we definitely want some answers. I know it’s very recent, but they’re treating this as an accident but I think there’s more to it.”

Batista said Peńa moved to Rhode Island 12 years ago from the Dominican Republic. He worked around the clock as a roofer and a chef to give his family in Pawtucket and his family back home in the Dominican Republic a better life.

“It’s so unexpected. Very hard working, a very hardworking man,” said Anarosa Torres, Peńa’s wife.

“We’re hurt. We’re hurting right now. It’s a sudden loss, we weren’t expecting this, and family is totally devastated. (He was) a loving dad, a loving husband. He was a great friend,” Batista said.

The family said the two men Peńa was traveling with were friends, but they believe he was in danger. They want to know what really happened in the final moments of his life.

“He was, like, running from something. He was probably running for his life. Nobody in their sane mind would actually jump out of a car and just take off in the middle of the highway. It’s pretty fishy, it’s fishy, to say the least.”

Peńa’s family is raising money to give him a proper burial in the Dominican Republic. Click here to donate.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Massachusetts, News