Raleigh police arrest illegal alien with previous DWI conviction.
By David Leone
RALEIGH — A Wake Forest teen was one of two women killed when the 1998 Honda they were riding in was struck by another vehicle, which then sped away.
The driver of the Chevy Avalanche has since been arrested by police. Media reports cite that he is an undocumented immigrant who was previously deported. He has a 2011 conviction for drunk driving.
The collision occurred Friday at 12:22 a.m. at the intersection of New Bern Avenue and Trawick Road. There were five occupants in the vehicle that was struck.
Naomi Mercury, 18, of Wake Forest, and Brittany Williams, 24, of Fuquay-Varina, were in the back seat. They died as a result of their injuries. Both girls were students at Wake Tech.
The Honda’s driver, Jacob John Wootsick, 28, lives in Louisburg. Though he was not physically injured, he was reportedly distraught after the accident — Mercury was his girlfriend.
The other two Honda passengers injured in the crash are Raleigh residents Nathan Norris Jr., 33, and Tyrone Daniels, 26.
The Honda had the green left turn arrow to make a turn from New Bern onto Trawick when it was broadsided by the Tahoe, which police estimate was traveling at 41 miles per hour. There were no skid marks or other evidence of braking, the police report states.
Raleigh police credit a tip stemming from media coverage which helped lead to charges against Guzman-Palacios, 32, 2201 Poole Road, Raleigh. Arrested on Sunday, he has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, driving while license suspended, failing to stop at a red light, and two counts of felony hit and run and is being held at the Wake County jail on a $510,000 secured bond.
State conviction records show that Guzman-Palacios was convicted of driving while impaired in Randolph County in 2011, for which he received a suspended sentence.
Mercury was studying psychology at Wake Tech, according to reports. On her Facebook page, Mercury recently posted about being excited to be in college and her affection for Wootsick.
Last spring as a senior at Wake Forest High, she performed in Hairspray, the student theater production.
On his Facebook page, Wootsick posted: “I miss you so much. … I will never forget how happy you made me. You died in my arms but I never let you go.”
Homecoming services for Mercury were to be held at Feggins Funeral Home at 430 N. White St. in Wake Forest at 11 a.m. today (Thursday), with a gathering immediately following at the Youngsville Community House, 115 E. Main St., in Youngsville.