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Beltline collision kills 3, injures 3

Posted May 25, 2008
Updated May 28, 2008

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— Three people died and three more were hurt in a weekend crash that closed the inner loop of Interstate 440 for a time, police said.

Police said van driver Francisco Javier Martinez, 30, of 1925 Village Squire Circle in Knightdale, was driving the wrong way on the Inner Beltline shortly after 4:30 a.m. Sunday and collided head-on with an eastbound Lexus sedan near the on-ramp from Capital Boulevard.

The driver of the Lexus, Guillermo Zintzun Jimenez, 26, of 7107 Eversfield Drive in Raleigh, and two occupants of his car, Dagoberto Zintzun Jimenez, 21, of 3104-C Holston Lane in Raleigh, and Santiago Pascual Tellez, 14, of 2413 Blossom Court in Knightdale, were killed in the wreck.

Two other occupants of the Lexus, Jose Canuto Canuto, 24, and Louis Alberto Canuto, 21, both of 3216-C Calumet Drive in Raleigh, were injured in the wreck. Jose Canuto was listed in good condition Monday morning at WakeMed.  Louis Canuto was treated at the hospital and released Sunday.

Martinez also was injured in the wreck. He was listed in good condition Monday morning at WakeMed.

He was charged with three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving the wrong direction and no operator's license.

The Inner Beltline was closed for more than three hours between Wake Forest Road and Capital Boulevard after the wreck.

9 Comments

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  • Sauras69 May 26, 5:55 p.m.

    How many more are we going to read about. Doesn't make any sense to me. I can't count how many stories that we have read about of late. I agree with Saywhat.

    It is time that we tell us Legislature Rep's in your county what you think!!!!!! I have already.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 26, 5:29 p.m.

    Once again we have an intoxicated Hispanic causing a DWI related accident with people getting killed and injured.

    If the Hispanics were here illegally, they should be immediately deported.

  • jnrobrien May 26, 3:56 p.m.

    why is he not charged with murder???

  • WilloWSnapper May 26, 2:07 p.m.

    why was a 14 yr old out partying with those above the age of 21 ?

  • GinkgoPhyta May 26, 11:48 a.m.

    I am not going to be PC here, but when I first heard about this on Sunday morning, I wondered if it was a drunken driving accident and if the driver was Hispanic. The reason why I thought this is because of the large number of DWI accidents lately involving illegal Hispanic immigrants. When you see something happen over and over again in the news, it is the first thought that comes to your mind when you here of an accident like this.

    Drunken driving is a huge problem, regardless. However, instead of the PC cops coming out saying it is a cultural difference, etc., maybe we should be trying to tackle the root of the problem. I was actually just reading an article the other day how one group was saying how Hispanics are unfairly targeted for DWIs. Well, how do you target them when they cause an accident and take lives? Instead of trying to come up with excuses for their actions, lets be proactive and try to tackle the problem. Too many innocent lives have been taken.

  • Pilot May 26, 11:31 a.m.

    Ok, here is my PC comment: I disagree with drunken drivers of any race, regardless of their legal status!

  • FE May 26, 10:23 a.m.

    The line "Play it again, Sam!" once more comes to mind.

    There is a tremendous problem with drunk drivers, frequently of the hispanic community, with or without proper immigration "papers," being involved in fatal accidents. Many of the same drivers have no valid operator's license, no required auto/liability insurance, and no valid vehicle registration.

    Someone in authority with the appropriate fortitude needs to address this problem head on, regardless of any politically correct perceptions. Set up more DUI checkpoints, monitor certain areas near bars, and more. Those who feel their own "personal liberty" is being stepped on might consider the greater cost of getting killed by another (there IS a pattern here!) drunk driver in the greater Raleigh area.

    I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

    FE

  • fletchermse May 26, 9:55 a.m.

    "Agree with OhBella....all the "Latino/Hispanic" PR organizations should be focusing on saving lives and modifying behavior rather than lobbying legislators...
    "

    Exactly. There's no better way to gain acceptance than to become productive, honest, and well-behaved members of the community.

  • tgcmisc May 26, 8:28 a.m.

    Agree with OhBella....all the "Latino/Hispanic" PR organizations should be focusing on saving lives and modifying behavior rather than lobbying legislators...

    It was fascinating...took WRAL and the N&O until 4:00 PM to report the names and charges...the N&O's picture, if you blew it up, showed the ladder rack on the van and the ladders scattered on the highway. That spoke volumes.

    I wonder how many (if any) of the 6 were wearing seat belts (PR Organizations...do your campaigning...)

    I also think that it is time that the RPD, Sherriff's dept and NC HP "focus" on the roads leading to and from the "night spots" that these people were at until 4:30 AM.

    Isn't it AGAINST the NC ABC Regulations to continue to SERVE alcohol to customers when they are intoxicated. Seems to me that the Law Enforcement agencies have an obligation here also.

    Sorry that so many were killed, but I avoid late Saturday night and early Sunday morning travel around Raleigh...