‘They just let anybody on them’: Family of man killed in moped crash on Block Island pushes for change

BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. (WLNE) – The family of a Cranston man who was killed on Block Island over the weekend in a moped crash is hoping his death sparks change on the island.

Corey Sanville, 22, was killed Saturday after the moped he rented collided with an SUV on Spring Street at Whale Swamp Road around 2:20 p.m. A female passenger, Sanville’s best friend, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Both Sanville and his passenger were wearing helmets, according to police.

“Today’s a very rough day. We’re devastated by the loss.”

Sanville’s aunt, Kim Giarrusso, and sister-in-law, Jillian Denoncour, spoke to ABC6 Monday about the family’s devastating loss.

“He was a happy, free spirit, hardworking kid that just lived every single day to his fullest,” said Giarrusso.

“He made everybody smile and laugh and he was so loved by everybody who met him,” added Denoncour. “He was just amazing.”

The two said Sanville was visiting the island to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

“He was able to finally take a vacation because he normally worked open to close at both jobs seven days a week,” Giarrusso said.

That afternoon he rented a moped, and shortly after, crashed head-on into an SUV. Sanville was killed instantly.

His loved ones said he wasn’t used to driving a moped, and the rental company shouldn’t have allowed him to do so. They started a petition to get Block Island leaders to make it harder for people to rent mopeds. So far, more than 2,500 people have signed.

The crash is the second in less than a week, and prompted the New Shoreham Town Council to hold an emergency meeting Sunday night. The meeting was continued to Monday.

“What we’re really trying to do is just make it so that renting mopeds to inexperienced drivers is not as easy as it is. It’s not as easy as signing a waiver and a ten-minute lesson. He was not ready for that,” said Giarrusso. “We’re hoping to make anything regulated or mandated so that, if we can’t do away with them, then just not everyone can rent them. Maybe have a motorcycle license or go through a training course that is longer than ten minutes.”

So far this summer, there have been 44 moped crashes on Block Island, compared to 34 in 2019. But the summer isn’t over yet, and that’s why the family wants change to happen now.

“Block Island, it’s a party spot,” Denoncour said. “So these kids are gonna get on it, not experienced, after a long day in the heat, maybe drinking, and you never know what’s gonna happen and they just let anybody on them as long as you have a license. It’s way too relaxed.”

Giarrusso and Denoncour said the family has been in contact with leaders on the island and will continue to push for change to honor Sanville’s memory.

“This poor family has to deal with the loss of a wonderful person, and he has nieces that are gonna have to grow up without him, for an accident that should’ve never happened. And we don’t ever want any other family to have to feel this pain.”

© WLNE-TV 2020

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