Local News

3 Killed in Raleigh Car Crash, 4th Person Hurt

Posted May 13, 2007

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— Three people died early Sunday and a fourth was hurt when a car ran off North New Hope Road at the corner of Fawn Glen Drive in Raleigh and came to rest in the yard of a house, police said.

Drugs or alcohol were suspected of contributing to the crash, police said, but test results were pending. They said the car was traveling at "a high rate of speed" but had not estimated what that was.

The crash happened about 3:30 a.m., police said. The driver and two of three passengers in the car were dead at the scene after the car struck the curb on North New Hope, skidded, struck a decorative wall at the entrance to the Brookstone subdivision and rolled over, throwing out the two back-seat passengers, police said.

Police identified the dead men as the driver, Jorge Perez San Juan, 23, of Garner; Cresencio Torentino, 23, whose address was unknown, and Carlos Alejandro Lopez, 23 of Raleigh. Torentino and Lopez were riding in the back seat of the sedan and were thrown from the car when it rolled over, police said.

Melesio Tolentino Vargara, who was riding in the front passenger seat and was wearing a seat belt survived. he suffered what police classify as a "disabling" injury, but his condition was not known.

Police said a second car had stopped when the accident happened, and the driver, Marcos San Agustin Cabrera, 20, of Raleigh, stopped and attempted to drive away with Vargara. Cabrera was charged with "resisting, delaying, or obstructing a police officer" and held on a $10,000 bond for a court appearance Monday. He also did not have a driver's license, police said.

San Juan did not have a driver's license, police said in their report.

They found the car, which was owned by another man who lived in the same Raleigh apartment as Lopez, on the front lawn of 4101 Fawn Glen Dr. on the corner of North New Hope Road, between Buffaloe Road and Louisburg Road.

When the car struck the wall, it broke loose stone and sent debris flying into the front of the house, smashing windows. The car also struck a tree and a decorative fence after hitting the wall, police said.

Officers investigating the crash said there were 100-foot skid marks before the car hit the wall and that it traveled about 50 feet after crashing.

Neighbors said it was at least the fourth time that the wall and the house on the corner lot had been hit by a vehicle. North New Hope Road bends to the left just before Fawn Glen Drive as drivers are going north. It is a four-lane, divided road at that point.