QUINCY, Mass. — After receiving multiple tips about a bizarre accident in Quincy involving an off-duty state trooper, 25 Investigates began looking into the events before and after the Labor Day crash. Our team learned that the trooper struck a home on Manet Avenue while driving his personal vehicle home in the early hours of Monday.
But it’s what unfolded before that crash that caught the attention of investigative reporter Ted Daniel.
The original tips indicated that prior to the Manet Avenue accident, Trooper Kevin Keith collided into a guardrail minutes earlier and had lost one of his wheels and part of an axle in that crash.
25 Investigates requested the police report from the night of the crash. The six-sentence narrative said “it appears” Keith took a turn “too tight,” [and] struck a parked car before hitting the Manet Avenue house.
The report made no mention of the guardrail incident or the missing wheel. A 25 Investigates crew decided to check out the site where the first collision occurred: 565 Sea St., less than a mile from the house crash.
During our visit to the Sea Street location, we met a resident who heard the crash and showed us a picture of the wheel that fell off and was left behind. We also saw scratches on the pavement of the parking lot where the pick-up pulled into after striking the guardrail.
The resident told us he watched the truck take off without the right front wheel, dragging the axle, which caused “sparks” from the metal dragging on the road. We then visited the site of the second crash. That’s where we found Dave Ovesen, owner of the Manet Street house Keith crashed into.
“I was asleep at the time and heard a loud bang. Almost something like a water heater or something like that exploding,” he told 25 Investigates.
Ovesen told us that the vehicle that struck his Houghs Neck home causing upwards of $40,000 in damage was “missing a wheel. Not a tire. A wheel.”
Our crew found Keith’s Chevy Silverado at a nearby auto body shop. It was missing the front passenger side wheel and part of the right front axle as Ovesen said.
We asked Quincy Police if there was a record of the Sea Street accident, since it appeared to be the same vehicle that ended up under the porch of Ovesen’s house. Police Captain John Dougan told us a record did not exist.
“I didn’t see any calls [before] or after the accident,” he wrote.
25 Investigates reviewed Quincy Police radio calls and discovered the guardrail crash was, in fact, reported. Police scanner traffic on Rangecast, an online police and fire scanner, indicates multiple calls were made to the police department following the guardrail crash.
One of the communications said, “a pick-up truck just hit the guardrail out in front of 565 Sea St. and took off into the Neck dragging something metal causing all kinds of sparks. Several calls on it.”
In fact, an officer can be heard saying, “I see the tire here.” Another officer is then heard saying, “All right, I’m going to continue down to see if I find it.”
Moments later in the transmission, a voice is heard saying, “I got a truck into a house, Manet Ave and Stoughton Street.”
According to Ovesen, Trooper Keith got out of his truck on his own. He slid out of the passenger side and appeared to have blood on his face. The police report said Trooper Keith was, “unable to be interviewed at the scene” because he was taken to the hospital with a “head injury.”
We wanted to know if it would have been logical for Quincy Police to determine if the two crashes were connected. We asked former Boston Police Chief Dan Linskey, a Boston 25 News law enforcement analyst, to examine the case for us.
“It’s important anytime there’s a crash. But obviously, when the crash involves someone who’s employed in law enforcement, they are held to a higher standard,” he said. “There’s an obligation to answer [all questions] for the officer. There’s an obligation to the owners of the property who were damaged and an obligation to the citizens of Quincy, and obligations of Commonwealth to just find out what happened.”
Linskey added that the law states anyone who hits public property should stop and report it, and that driving on three wheels is dangerous.
The police report we obtained from the Quincy Police didn’t show the name of the owner of the vehicle because it was redacted. But 25 Investigates found the owner during our visit to Manet Street.
The owner, Jean Fanel Enoise, told us he had no idea how his car was damaged and that we were the first to tell him about the incident. He thought it had been a hit and run and added that no one from Quincy Police got in touch with him.
“It’s strange. Weird. Especially as you say who hit my car was a police officer,” Enoise told 25 Investigates.
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Ovesen said he too is concerned by our findings.
“My son is a police officer. My nephew was a lieutenant in the State Police. So, I’m not against the police,” he said. “But they’re no different than you and I, and they should be under the same rules and regulations.”
25 Investigates made multiple attempts to contact Trooper Keith. We visited his Quincy home, called multiple phone numbers we found on a public database and emailed him.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the State Police said the agency was not involved in the crash investigation and, “the facts provided to us by Quincy Police do not warrant an internal investigation.”
That statement was issued last Thursday. The following day we learned that Quincy Police launched an internal investigation four days after 25 Investigates started asking questions about the crash. When we alerted State Police to the internal investigation, a spokesperson said the agency will review the findings.
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