Father of 4 killed in head-on crash in Statesville; police searching for driver

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Police are looking for a man charged in a deadly head-on crash that took the life of a father of four last month in Statesville.

Investigators said Gabino Hernandez Nunez was driving a 1995 Honda Civic on East Broad Street on Feb. 24 when he crossed the center line and hit an oncoming 2007 Honda Civic.

Nunez and the other driver were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Two passengers in the 1995 Honda were airlifted to Atrium Health Carolina Medical Center.

Nunez was under the influence and impaired at the time of the collision, and he was charged with driving while impaired, police said. Speed also factored in as a significant part of the investigation, authorities said.

Two days later, one of Nunez’s passengers, Juvencio Mata Carbajal, died in the hospital from his injuries.

After Carbajal’s death, Nunez was also charged with felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, no operator license, and reckless driving to endanger. But police said they have not been able to find Nunez after he was hospitalized.

Now, Carbajal’s family is mourning the 31-year-old father to four young children. His funeral was held Wednesday in Iredell County.

“I’m hoping they find him,” said his brother Brandon Carbajal. “They bring him to justice and he takes punishment for his crimes.”

Family members told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty they had no idea about the incident until hours after the wreck. Carbajal’s mother said she drove around looking for her son for five hours before learning about the crash. She fought back tears as she spoke with Faherty.

“He loved his kids, his family. They meant everything to him,” Patricia Hernandez said.

Carbajal’s family shared photos of him with Faherty, saying they are heartbroken. His mother and family members are hoping for an arrest in the case.

“I’m just asking everybody if they see him, please let somebody know,” Hernandez said. “Get in contact with the police, me -- I’ll call the police or whatever that I need to do -- and just let them know his location, so that he can be found.”

Police are still trying to find Nunez. Anyone with information about where he may be is asked to contact the Statesville Police Department at 704-878-3406.

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