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Police: Driver hit car at stoplight, killing man

Posted March 13, 2010
Updated March 14, 2010

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— Raleigh police suspect that a 27-year-old woman had been drinking before her car rear-ended another car stopped at a red traffic light early Saturday, killing a 24-year-old man.

Police said that a 2006 Toyota Scion was stopped on Six Forks Road, at Sawmill Road, around 4:45 a.m. when it was rear-ended by a 2007 Mazda 3 sedan. The Mazda was going 45 mph and did not slow down before impact, according to the wreck report.

The Toyota traveled 170 feet down the road after impact, and the Mazda ended up between two trees on the left side of the road.

John Michael Sullivan, of Charlotte, was pinned in the back seat of the Toyota. He died of his injuries.

The Mazda driver, Manuela Gomez, of 6610 Roundstone Drive, Apt. 202 in Raleigh, suffered serious injuries. She was transported to WakeMed, where she was in good condition Sunday afternoon.

Two other occupants of the Toyota – Daniel Joseph Pappert, 25, and Daniel Tyler Kleckner, 24, both of Raleigh – suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Kleckner was in good condition Saturday afternoon, and Pappert had been treated and released.

Once Gomez is released from the hospital, police plan to charge her with driving while impaired and felony death by vehicle. Results of alcohol testing for her are pending.

The wreck report shows that Pappert had a blood-alcohol content of 0.01, but police saw no evidence that he was impaired and will not file charges against him.

Wake County jail officials said Gomez was charged with possession with intent to sell cocaine and marijuana in 2005, but state Department of Correction records do not show that she has a previous criminal history.

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