Both Drivers Charged In Fatal Crash Investigation

PINE LEVEL – Pine Level Police announced Thursday that charges have been filed against both drivers involved in a deadly head-on collision. The accident claimed the life of a 22 year-old man and injured 7 others, at least one critically.

At 7:44pm Saturday, Police Chief A.Q. Woodard said, a 2012 Ford driven by Ramon Gonzalez-Rivera, 39, of Selma was traveling on Country Store Road and attempted to turn onto Doc Avenue. Gonzalez-Rivera turned into the path of a 2002 Porsche driven by Matthew Alarcon, 19, of Smithfield. Both vehicles collided in the roadway.

Six people were in the Ford and two in the Porsche. A passenger in the Porsche, Bryan Mendoza Lara of Raleigh, died at the scene. The remaining seven accident victims were rushed by Johnston County EMS to WakeMed.

Chief Woodard said Gonzalez-Rivera has now been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, failure to yield, and driving on a revoked license. Alarcon was charged with driving on a revoked license.

The collision occurred just inside the city limits of Pine Level where the speed limits drops from 55 mph to 35 mph. The accident occurred “just yards” inside the 35 mph zone, Chief Woodard said. Speed appears to have been a factor on the Porsche, police said. How fast the vehicles were traveling when they collided remains under investigation. Alcohol was not involved.

Prior to this fatal wreck, the last fatal collision in the Pine Level city limits happened in 2018.