Update: Charges Filed In Fatal Smithfield Traffic Accident

Smithfield Police have filed charges against a motorist they say caused a deadly crash last week on W. Market Street (US 70) at Durwood Stephenson Highway.

Elvia Santiago, 32, of Clayton has been charged by police with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.  On May 18th around 3:40pm, police said Santiago was traveling westbound on W. Market Street in a white Mercedes and was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection into the Rose Manor Shopping Center.  Santiago collided with a burgundy Nissan SUV traveling eastbound. The impact forced the SUV off the roadway into a utility pole.

The driver of the SUV, 71 year-old Gilbert Barakat of Clayton died at the scene. A passenger, 67 year-old Barbara Barakat, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  Santiago and two juvenile passengers in the Mercedes had minor injuries.

Police said there was an independent eyewitness to the crash that was interviewed as part of the crash investigation.  Santiago was issued a criminal summons to appear in court on the misdemeanor charge.