Raleigh homeowner demands action after fatal car crash
Posted October 12, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — When a car crashed into Carlo Bernate's north Raleigh home for the fifth time in eight years early Sunday, he said he was not surprised.
"When I peeked out from the window, I saw the car, and I was like, ‘Oh man, really,’" he said.
Yoni Jose Bonilla-Turcios, 22, was driving north on New Hope Road and lost control of his 1996 Honda sedan. Bonilla-Turcios was taken to WakeMed where he later died.
Bernarte said his home has become a target for out-of-control drivers due to a curve on New Hope Road near Fawn Glen Drive. The five wrecks have been caused by alcohol, speed or a combination of the two. Nearly a year ago, the state promised new safety measures, but nothing has changed.
"First, it happened on May 13, 2007. Mother's Day weekend," said Bernarte.
Three people died when a vehicle struck Bernarte's home in 2007. The home was struck by other vehicles in 2008, 2013, and 2014.
"When someone drives impaired or at 90 mph, there is not a lot we can design to prevent that," said Jed Niffenegger, senior transportation engineer.
According to officials, the city and state worked on a plan to put extra safety measures in place, including raised markers, brighter guardrail reflectors and bigger, brighter signs, but the improvements did not get made.
"The city has been doing a lot of stuff. We need to go find the funding. We identify the project, then we say when is the funding going to come," said state Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott.
He said the state currently has the money, but there is no set timeline for the improvements.
Bernarte said he wants something done so he can stop living in a state of fear and frustration.
"It is supposed to be the safest place that you are going to be in - your own house," he said.