Local News

Man Admits Fault In Fatal Fayetteville Wreck

Posted May 12, 2006

— The man blamed for a deadly accident has now admitted it was his fault.

"I'm hurting," said Gregory Barnes. "I know other people are hurting behind this. I really don't know what else to say. It's just a terrible mishap, and I've got to face it."

Police say Gregory Barnes was driving drunk in Fayetteville around midnight Thursday when he rear-ended a pick-up truck.

Four people were in the truck. One, passenger Alicia Fuentez, was killed. The other three, including a 2-year-old girl, are hosptialized, and are recovering.

Fuentez came to town to visit relatives. They picked her up from the Fayetteville bus station and headed home. They were on Bragg Boulevard when the accident happened.

One of the other victims, Ana Gutierrez, said, "They were driving fine. Speed limit, everything was good."

John O'Brien and his wife, Paula, saw Barnes pass them on the road. They said he was speeding.

"We were talking about how, when he gets farther somewhere down the road, he's going to have an accident, and about the time I mentioned that, my wife said, 'Oh, my God, he hit that truck,'" said John O'Brien.

Paula O'Brien held the toddler until help arrived.

"She had blood coming down her face," said Paula O'Brien. "She wasn't crying. She seemed to be pretty calm."

Officers cited Barnes for DWI, but could file more serious charges.

"It's unbelievable that a drunk driver did this to her," said family friend Alma Mijangos. "She's leaving behind six kids, and no matter what he does, it's not going to replace her."

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