Rhode Island governor candidate Allan Fung: 'My car crash killed a man'

Republican Cranston mayor Allan Fung told a press conference he was involved in a car crash after falling unconscious behind the wheel

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The Independent US

The Republican mayor of the city of Cranston in Rhode Island, and a former prosecutor for the state attorney general's office has admitted he was involved in a crash that killed another man.

Allan Fung told a press conference he was an 18-year-old college student in 1989 when he lost consciousness behind the wheel and hit a man who was changing a tire on Interstate 95.

"I wanted to get the truth out there, get all the facts out there to the voters of the state of Rhode Island," Fung said at the conference. "They need to know the truth about me."

The crash was reported by The Providence Journal on Monday which was initially aware of the incident when it asked Mr Fung if he had ever been arrested previously during a candidate interview. Although Mr Fung did reveal the incident, the paper chose not to report it at the time.

Fung described the crash as the most painful experience of his life and said it was "a part of me, a part of who I am".

"God knows why my life was spared that day and someone else's was taken," he said.

Fung said he was returning for the weekend from Connecticut to work at his parents' restaurant when he fell unconscious and hit 41-year-old James Skipper Jr.

"I was just driving along. At some point, I lost consciousness," Fung said. "I remember the crash kinda woke me back up."

He said he stopped his car, saw Mr Skipper lying on the ground and then went into a state of shock. The state police arrested him, and he was released that night. He was later informed a grand jury declined to indict him.

After his first year of law school, he interned at the state Department of Corrections, where his arrest record came up in a criminal background check. He said staff there suggested he get his record expunged since he had done nothing wrong.

Fung later agreed to an out-of-court settlement of $112,000 to Skipper's parents, money he said was paid by his parents and insurance company.

Skipper's sister, Joyce Strange, told the that Fung has "gone through hell" and the incident should not be held against him.

Fung faces businessman Ken Block in the Republican primary to succeed Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who's not seeking a second term. The state's general treasurer, Gina Raimondo, and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are running as Democrats.

Additonal reporting by Associated Press