Victim hit by Providence DPW worker speaks out

By Abbey Niezgoda

A Providence DPW worker suspected of driving drunk while on duty went before a judge Wednesday.

David Cepeda, 35, is accused of hitting another car in a city truck on a suspended license and then taking off. Cepeda pleaded not guilty, but the person he hit tells a very different story.

“It was almost like an explosion, almost like a boom,” Richard Van Tienhoven said.

It was the sound of a DPW pick up truck slamming into the side of his tiny Toyota Corolla.

“This is not what we would call a proverbial love tap, Van Tienhoven said. “This was a solid hit.”

He was hit so hard that his car was totaled, but before the driver sped off, Van Tienhoven spotted the city of Providence seal on the door of his truck.

According to the police report, when officers caught up with Cepeda, they suspected he had been drinking, but he refused a breathalyzer. They also found out Cepeda was not supposed to be driving in the first place.

“It kind of makes you wonder how one would be driving a city vehicle and doing so with a suspended license,” Van Tienhoven said.

Mayor Angel Taveras says there needs to be some sort of system for checking because the city will have to pay for this one.

“We are reviewing that process,” Taveras said. “Not only so that we have the information once a person is hired, but also that we continue to check it while they are employed.”

The case will now move on to Superior Court. Cepeda has been suspended without pay.