Local News

Driver Sought in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Posted July 29, 2007 4:56 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2007 7:19 a.m. EDT

— Police are searching for a driver who fled a DWI checkpoint and killed another motorist along Highway 70 in Garner overnight Saturday.

A driver fled a checkpoint operated by Wake County deputies at Legend Road and U.S. Highway 401 in Garner around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Joe Binns of the Garner Police Department.

"He was definitely trying to get away -- there's no question about that -- at a high rate of speed, in a very reckless manner," Binns said.

Deputies began to chase the driver but lost sight of him a little way down the road and stopped the pursuit, Binns said.

The driver continued along U.S. 401 to U.S. Highway 70, where he hit a moped at the intersection with Loop Road, authorities said.

The crash instantly killed a passenger on the moped, Christopher Gonzalez-Guteinrrez, 25, of 6112 Old Wake Forest Road, Binns said.

A second person on the moped, Jesus Gonzalez Orozco, 25, was seriously injured, authorities said.

"At that speed, at 12:30 in the morning, it's very difficult to see. These people in the moped ... they didn't even see him coming," Binns said.

Orozco was listed in serious condition at WakeMed's intensive care unit.

The suspect drove away and hit a second vehicle while exiting from U.S. 70 onto Vandora Springs Road. The occupants of the second vehicle suffered only minor injuries, authorities said.

The hit-and-run vehicle ran off the side of the road near a BP gas station, and the driver ran away on foot, authorities said.

Police have not released a suspect description and said they are in the early stages of the investigation.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office's Sheriff's Traffic Observation Patrol, along with eight other law-enforcement agencies, conducted a number of DWI checkpoints Saturday night, officials said.

The STOP Team charged 140 people with various violations, including 17 DWIs, two concealed-weapons charges, drug offenses and motor vehicle infractions, authorities said.

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