By Jack Stephens
Published in News on January 27, 2004 2:00 PM
after fatal wreck
The driver of a car who fled from state Highway Patrol troopers last year and then crashed into a tree, killing a passenger, has been sentenced to 11 to 14 months in prison.
Juan Perez Carrillo, 33, of Leland pleaded guilty last week in Wayne County Superior Court to felony death by motor vehicle. He had been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The back-seat passenger, Benito Y. Nieto, 27, of 481 N.C. 111 North, Seven Springs, in Duplin County, was killed May 5.
Carrillo and a front-seat passenger, Mariano Ramirez Morales of Leland, have recovered from their injuries.
A blood test revealed Carrillo's alcohol content at .15 percent, almost two times the state's .08 percent limit that presumes a driver was impaired.
Carrillo was driving east on N.C. 55 and met a traffic checkpoint at Kelly Springs Road at about 7:50 a.m. Trooper T.L. Hardy said he thought the passenger was drinking a soda but it turned out to be a beer. The trooper said Carrillo and Morales, the other passenger, also had been drinking. He motioned for the driver to get out, but instead he took off.
The car turned north on Kelly Springs Road and reached about 80 mph on the narrow, twisting, two-lane road and failed to stop at a stop sign at Indian Springs Road. Then the car failed to make a curve and slammed into a tree. The car was demolished.
Crime takes holiday
When bad weather strikes Wayne County, criminals usually take the day off. Monday was no exception after ice glazed streets and highways, making travel treacherous at best, especially on side streets, neighborhood roads and bridges.
Wayne County sheriff's officers filed no incident reports and did not charge anyone with a crime. Goldsboro police reports were not available this morning.
However, state Highway Patrol troopers investigated numerous traffic collisions. None involved fatalities, but some resulted in injuries and significant property damages. Complete reports of those collisions have not been filed.
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