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Accident victim's family seeks answers

August 20, 2011

WOONSOCKET – Krystal Durkin’s mother, Cheryl Durkin, went to the Police Station looking for answers Thursday evening.
She had spent the early morning hours of Thursday at Rhode Island Hospital watching as the medical staff tried to save her 25-year-old daughter’s life. Krystal, the mother of an infant daughter, Lillianne Fay, had been struck by a car while walking across Mendon Road just after 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. She suffered severe head injuries when struck and thrown a distance down the road.
The attempts to save her ended at 5 a.m. Thursday. Cheryl Durkin of Harrisville and her family members began an overwhelming task of trying to make sense of the accident that claimed Krystal’s life.
“I want to know if anybody saw what happened to her,” said Cheryl, after going to the police station with her parents, retired Cumberland Police Sgt. Stanley J. Koziol and his wife, Patricia, as well as Cheryl’s brother, Stanley P. Koziol of Pawtucket and his son, Tyler Koziol, 17.
The family had gone to the accident scene near the BP gas station on Mendon Road and talked with employees. They also looked over the dark location where Krystal crossed Mendon after going to the gas station just before 11:45 p.m. for help with her van parked up the street.
Her mother left a small lantern, yellow flowers and rosary beads on a nearby utility pole as a memorial.
Woonsocket Police said Kevin Poirier, 32, of Cranston, struck Krystal as she crossed the road near 2075 Mendon Road just north of the Mendon Road merge with Cumberland Hill Road. Poirier was reported to be heading into the city while traveling north on Mendon when the accident occurred.
Police found no evidence of alcohol or drugs as factors in the accident; the initial investigation determined that Krystal had appeared before the driver so suddenly he did not have time to apply his brakes.
Stanley J. Koziol and his son, Stanley P., said they found the accident scene to be very dark during their visit there Thursday night and questioned whether street lights turned off at the location may have contributed to the accident.
“It’s pitch black out there,” the elder Koziol said. His son pointed to the speed of cars passing through the busy merge of the two roads and said the family wants to know what police say about that risk at the intersection. Family members had also spoken with employees at the BP station and saw a security video they said had recorded Krystal leaving its viewpoint at 11:46 p.m. and the car that struck her passing by a split second later. The station was closed at the time but a man working to empty a tank of used motor oil there had given Krystal $5 to buy gas for the van, police said. She was returning to her vehicle up the road when struck, according to police.
Cheryl Durkin said she had gone to the police station hoping to talk with the department members investigating the accident but was not able to meet with anyone Thursday night.
She did receive information on how to contact the lead investigator on the case, Lt. Todd Boisvert, and said she would try again on Friday.
“It just doesn’t seem like anyone wants to give us answers,” she said outside the station.
“I just want some consideration from the police department. My daughter dies at the hospital and I can’t tell her everything is going to be OK,” Durkin said.
Krystal, the second of Durkin’s three daughters, was a “very sweet” person, someone who was a friend to a lot of people. “She doesn’t deserve this,” her mother said.
A graduate of Cumberland High School, Krystal was a great soccer player, her mother said, and loved to play forward for her team.
“She was fast and ran like a little reindeer out there,” Durkin said. Her athletic skill was very similar to her uncle Stan’s passion for hockey in his youth while playing for the R.I. Saints hockey team that made it to playoffs in Russia and Finland in 1981.
Krystal gave birth to Lillianne three weeks ago, on July 31. The baby remains at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, receiving care as a premature infant.
Krystal had been living in Pawtucket with her boyfriend, Jacob Archambault. Her father, Mark Durkin, still resides in Cumberland.
Cheryl Durkin said her daughter had called her on Wednesday to tell her that Lillianne was doing better at the hospital and had increased the amount of formula she is receiving.
Although not working after having the baby, Krystal had been a good waitress and was apt at taking care of her customers, Cheryl said. “Krystal is a great multi-tasker, she can do 10 things at once.”
Krystal’s accident had put the family’s focus on what will become of Lillianne, said Cheryl, who had been planning to relocate to Florida with her parents prior to the accident. The baby, she said, will be her first priority.
“She is the only part of Krystal that I have left,” Cheryl Durkin said.
The family has set up a fund to benefit Lilliane. Those wishing to donate can mail checks in care of “The Lillianne Fay Archambault Fund” to 26 Sandwood Drive, Harrisville, RI 02830.

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