Local News

Wakefield High senior killed in Raleigh car accident

Posted January 14, 2007 11:25 a.m. EST
Updated January 10, 2009 8:50 p.m. EST

— A Wakefield High School student was killed and two other people were injured Sunday when the car they were traveling in ran off a North Raleigh road, police said.

The front-seat passenger, Sadiki Ayize Young, 18, of Lindley Drive, died after the 2001 Ford Escort struck the right curb of  Wakefield Plantation Drive near the intersection of Village Spring Road, slid onto the grassy shoulder, turned sideways, clipped a tree and rolled down a steep embankment.

The car's driver, Chistopher John Palmeri, 18, of High Holly Lane, and backseat passenger Frank Joseph Sambrick, 18, of Bur Trail, suffered minor injuries.

Young was a senior at Wakefield, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. Palmeri had attended Wakefield, but Sughrue was unsure whether he is still a student. It was not immediately clear if Sambrick is a student.

Young's mother, Dr. Rosemarie Newman, said her son was a "gracious, polite, sweet kid" with whom she had a very close relationship. He enjoyed soccer, lacrosse, and wrestling and was academic all-conference for all three sports she said. He also taught himself to play the guitar. He is survived by his mother, stepfather and three brothers.

Several friends and parents with whom WRAL spoke said the three teens had been at an unsupervised house party Saturday night.

Investigators said Palmeri had a blood-alcohol level of 0.06 percent but that speed was the primary factor in the accident. Palmeri had been driving at 72 mph at the time of the accident, they determined.

He faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, provisional driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving. Sughrue said police are investigating all circumstances surrounding the wreck.

Wakefield High students started gathering at the accident site Sunday morning. Some placed flowers as a memorial honoring Young. His death is the sixth of a Wakefield High School student because of a car accident in the past year.

Grief counselors will be on hand when students return to school on Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In March, Baker Wood, 18; Anthony Bostic, 17; Steven George, 18; and Timothy Steinberg, 18, were returning from a championship high-school basketball game in Greenville when, according to police, Wood hit a concrete barrier on the Poole Road exit coming off of the new U.S. Highway 64 bypass. The vehicle skidded for more than 400 feet before flying over the 3-foot wall and crashing nearly 60 feet to the ground.

Wood was driving at more than 100 mph, police said. A medical examiner's report showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21 percent -- more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent for adult drivers.

In April, Ashley Riggsbee, 18, was driving on Falls of Neuse Road when she lost control of her car and hit a tree. Speed was a factor in the crash, investigators said.

"Another Wakefield student has died in a car crash," said Len Anthony on Sunday. His daughter's boyfriend was Young's best friend he said.

"What is wrong with the culture and the atmosphere in this area where teenagers continue to die in car wrecks?"

"It's time for parents to take responsibility for knowing where their children are and what they're doing," Anthony said.