Trooper OK After Being Rammed by Unlicensed Driver

Posted May 11, 2007
Updated May 12, 2007

— A state Highway Patrol trooper was injured Friday morning when an unlicensed driver slammed into the back of his cruiser on westbound Interstate 40, authorities said.

Trooper R.W. Goswick was treated at WakeMed for a minor neck injury and was released, authorities said.

Goswick had stopped a transfer truck for an inspection on the shoulder of the highway between the U.S. Highway 1 and Gorman Street exits. While Goswick and the truck driver were in the cruiser, a truck hauling scrap building materials hit the back of the cruiser, authorities said.

"Trooper Goswick had a truck stopped out on I-40. He had the truck driver in his vehicle with him. He was conducting an inspection. Another vehicle ran off the roadway and struck the trooper's car in the rear," said Lt. Everett Clendenin of the Highway Patrol.

Omar Marino Zetino, 22, the driver of the smaller truck had alcohol in his system but not enough to be charged with drunken driving, Clendenin said.

"It doesn't look like the person who was driving the vehicle has a driver's license," he said.

Zetino, who has a Cary address, is charged with careless and reckless driving, driving with no operator's license and violating the Move Over Law, which requires drivers to slow down or move into another lane to provide extra room for emergency vehicles, Clendenin said.

The Highway Patrol is working with federal immigration officials to determine Zetino's immigration status, Clendenin said.

The truck Zetino was driving is registered to Speedy Construction and Removal of Wendell, he said.

The wreck marks the 79th time since the Move Over Law went into effect in 2002 that a trooper or a Highway Patrol cruiser was struck by a driver who didn't move over.

The tractor-trailer driver who was in the cruiser with Goswick refused medical treatment, authorities said.

The wreck caused traffic to back up across most of the southern portion of the Inner Beltline around Raleigh.


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  • jim2dart May 13, 2007

    Thanks for all you do RWG...Glad you're going to be alright.

  • NCGal May 13, 2007

    Great news, rwg. :)))))

    Thanks for all you guys do to try to keep us safe.

    atozca I know of 20+ NC victims within the last 2 years. 3 kids last Oct near Sanford and a pregnant woman near Kannapolis really stick out in my mind.

  • Sorry to offend thee May 12, 2007

    Wanted to let everyone know that I am ok. Just a "little" sore, thanks for all prayer and concern. Please give us a little room to work.

  • atozca May 12, 2007

    Thanks NC Gal

    The father/son death is one of three different fatal accidents I am aware of in the last 2 years in which the drunk driver who caused each accident was an illegal immigrant with many previous dwi's. One guy had 7!

  • NCGal May 12, 2007

    "Furthermore, i have heard that law enforcement is not allowed to check legal status nor deport.."

    Local law enforcement can check immigration status if they apply to the feds under some immigration law 287g & officers have special training.

    Meck, Gaston, Alamance already do. I think Guilford & Lee have applied but don't know where they stand.

    As for Wake, Harrison's thinking about it. Too bad he didn't do something before that father and son were killed in Angier last month. :(

  • atozca May 12, 2007

    "why is it that NO ONE is listening to the American people; when is this mass intrusion going to end?"

    when we start harrassing the powers to be until they enforce our laws. we thoroughly enjoyed earning a descent living until the illegals came and started doing the jobs the we WANTED to do but couldn't compete. And as someone mentioned earlier...we don't get the perks on health care or anything else. Furthermore, i have heard that law enforcement is not allowed to check legal status nor deport....Can America take care of Americans please!

  • lizard May 12, 2007

    I can't believe Cary would allow someone illegal to live in their city!!!!

  • mvnull May 12, 2007

    "WRAL controls freedom of speech, are you new here." Freedom of speach is irrelevant in a public comment area. You have the freedom to say anything you want (mostly), but not necessarily on WRAL's website. The only way you can assure yourself of as much freedom of speach as is allowed in the US is to start your own blog on your own server (or, go low-tech).

  • jprdar May 12, 2007


    WRAL controls freedom of speech, are you new here. You can only say what they agree with.

  • enderby May 12, 2007

    "Another illegal immigrant... causing the wrecks that Americans won't do." -mark -at- la2our -dot- com

    That quote is the best I've ever heard. thanks man.