BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) – A Johnston County family is mourning the loss of a father and lifelong partner after a 19-year-old, who authorities said had been drinking, drove straight into their home.
Scott Pacinelli, 60, died Wednesday after a car blew through a stop sign on Raleigh Road, driving through his yard and into his home, according to the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Pacinelli’s partner of 20 years, Kimberly Norris, said he was watering plants outside when the crash happened.
“We needed him for everything and life just is not going to be the same,” Norris said. “My daughter has to grow up without a father all because somebody wanted to drink and drive.”
Niklas Daronte Freeman had been drinking prior to getting behind the wheel. Freeman is charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, reckless driving, and driving after consuming under 21 years, old among other things, according to arrest warrants.
“All these people’s lives ruined because of something stupid,” Norris said.
Norris said the couple’s 16-year-old daughter was asleep in the house at the time and was unharmed. She said Pacinelli and their daughter had just spent the day together.
“Going shopping and he took her to the dentist. Just having a good day,” Norris said. “It’s going to have a huge impact on us because he was her everything.”
Norris said Pacinelli was a fun-loving, sometimes mischievous, and optimistic person.
“He was a happy person, a loving person, a caring person. He didn’t know a stranger in the world,” Norris said. “He was the sole provider.”
The family has set up a fundraiser online to help pay for expenses.