High school student dies in Raleigh hit-and-run
Posted January 17
Raleigh, N.C. — A 16-year-old girl who was injured during a hit-and-run Thursday night on North New Hope Road in Raleigh has died, police said.
Investigators said Friday morning that they found the driver who hit Justice Yasmeem Smith, an 11th-grader at Wake Forest High School, as she crossed the road at Water Oak Drive shortly before 10 p.m.
William Creamont Beary, 36, of Babbling Brook Drive in Raleigh, was arrested at his residence and charged with felony hit and run involving death or serious injury. He was held on a $25,000 bond and scheduled for a first court appearance Tuesday.
Raleigh police said the impact from Beary's 2005 Dodge minivan knocked Smith to the pavement, where a second vehicle struck her. The second driver, identified as Elizabeth Gray of Raleigh, stopped.
Smith died at WakeMed.
"I'm destroyed," Gray said through tears Friday. "I can't even tell you how upset I am. Me and my family and friends are praying for the young girl's family."
A spokeswoman with Wake County Public Schools said schools had a scheduled early dismissal Friday. Counselors will be provided when students return Tuesday.
Smith's classmates took to social media to remember the teen Friday. Many described her as kind and caring.
"When people saw here, they were like, "Oh my God, she is so beautiful and so popular.'" said Smith's friend and classmate, Passion Jenkins. "That didn't stop her from talking to people who were less popular. She just treated everybody equally."
Tradisha Reid, who is Jenkins' mother, expressed sympathy for Smith's family.
"I just couldn't imagine life without my child," she said. "My heart goes out to her family."
Said Jenkins, "I will miss her, and I will never forget her."