Local News

Man, 32, charged in Raleigh fatal hit-and-run

Posted November 2, 2014
Updated November 3, 2014

— Raleigh police have arrested a man and charged him in Saturday's hit-and-run wreck in east Raleigh that killed two people and injured three others.

A tip stemming from media coverage led to Mateo Guzman-Palacios' arrest, police said.

Guzman-Palacios, 32, of 2201 Poole Road, Raleigh, was jailed on two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, failing to stop at a red light and two counts of felony hit-and-run.

The crash happened shortly before 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of New Bern Avenue and Trawick Road.

According to a wreck report released Saturday afternoon, Jacob John Wootsick, 28, of Louisburg, was driving a 1998 Honda sedan east on New Bern Avenue when he tried to turn left onto Trawick Road.

A dark-colored 2002-06 Chevrolet Avalanche traveling west on New Bern Avenue ran a red light at Trawick Road and struck Wootsick's Honda on the right side.

Passengers Brittany Williams, 24, of Fuquay-Varina, and Naomi Mercury, 18, of Wake Forest, died as a result of their injuries sustained in the wreck.

"They were both just beautiful women, great people," said Wootsick. "Anyone who knew them could tell you that. It is just a sad situation and, you know, it is unexplainable."

Williams worked at the Bahama Breeze Island Grille for four years. She was described by her manager as well liked.

"She was caring. She helped others," said Christopher Banton. "She was someone I could count on when I got into a spot. Everyone really loved her, and we are really going to be thinking about her family during this time."

Nathan Lee Norris and Tyrone Marquis Daniels, both of Raleigh, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Wootsick was not hurt.


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  • Lynn Brearley Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Lived here 34 yrs. Driving in Raleigh scares me now

  • trianglerelic Nov 3, 2014

    Why do so many people accused of Hit and Run have foreign sounding names? 2 different friends were victims of different Hit and Run accidents, in both cases the other drive jumped out and ran away. The vehicle was LATER reported as Stolen, Hmm..

  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    how sad that someone can crash into another vehicle and not care enough to stop and lend assistance. Driving illegally or not, it's the epitome of selfishness and cowardice to leave under such circumstances. Disgusting. Thinking today of the 2 lovely young ladies that lost their lives so tragically and unnecessarily, and the young men who were part of this horrific accident. So sad for them and their families and friends.

  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Nov 3, 2014

    Matt Wood, nice try buddy, but WTVD reported he is here illegally!

  • Jackson Smith Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Amazing. He has no license, has a prior DUI, and a Latino name. Simply amazing. Hard to believe really. Happens way to often in wrecks, murders, and assaults. Look it up.

  • Jerry Sawyer Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    The details of the wreck does not mention Mateo Guzman-Palacios. So how was he involved?

  • monami Nov 3, 2014

    WTVD reported that he is here illegally. He re-entered the US illegally after his 2011 DWI.

  • jmcdow2792 Nov 3, 2014

    Background checks should be required for drivers licenses. And a permit from the sheriff along with required training.

  • monami Nov 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    It is not your imagination. I have noticed this in the majority of vehicular fatalities in this area. Why is this usually the case?

  • Matt Wood Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Where in the article does it say that this person is an illegal alien? Do you know how many people of Latino/Hispanic descent are born-and-raised US citizens (or legal immigrants)? And people like Proud Black Constitutionalist, NCAFBRAT, and Yankee1 will just keep on making racist remarks like this and turnaround with the "racism no longer exists in America" tripe. Sheesh.