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Jun 22, 2015 4:20 PM

Man charged with negligent homicide in Salem crash had allegedly been drinking, speeding


SALEM - Police say the Nashua man who plowed into another person's car last week was drinking and speeding at the time of the deadly crash.

According to an arrest affidavit, Michael Gomez, 26, formerly of Lowell, Mass., had two Mai Tai alcoholic beverages at Yang Ming restaurant on June 16 before he got on the road.

Less than a mile later, Gomez hit the Honda Civic Phillip Carter, 33, was driving as he tried to cross South Broadway in Salem.

Gomez was allegedly traveling up to 30 mph over the posted speed limit.

One witness said they saw Gomez pass them on the right and then accelerate to 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Another photo from the scene of the Salem crash.

The force of the collision sheared Carter's seat belt strap, and he was ejected from the vehicle.

Carter's fiancée, Melinda Nutter, who he had just dropped off at Salem Ford, rushed to his side, and spoke with him for the last time before his death.

On Monday morning, Nutter was teary-eyed as she talked to reporters outside an arraignment for Gomez at Salem District Court.

"My Phil is gone," Nutter said. "My whole life is gone."

Melinda Nutter, Phillip Carter's fiancee, spoke with reporters outside the arraignment of Michael Gomez, who is accused of hitting and killing Carter.

Nutter was upset that defense attorney Ryan Russman tried to paint Gomez as a working man, who had to miss his first Father's Day because of the crash.

Gomez has a number of convictions on his record, including one for distributing a controlled drug, and another for witness intimidation, according to prosecutors.

By Monday afternoon, Nutter had calmed down, happy that Gomez remained in Rockingham County House of Corrections on $100,000 cash-only bail.

Michael Gomez with attorney Ryan Russman

She described Carter as a lover of music and computers. He played the guitar and sang for Nutter often.

Nutter said she met Carter while in college in Vermont. She was just 19-years-old, and said it was love at first sight.

"He had been doing the Sunday brunches. He was a really, really good cook," Nutter said, as she described the work program students were expected to participate in. "I asked (a friend) 'Who's that?' and she said, 'That's Phil, and I know you would ask who he is.' "

Nutter talked about how much the couple loved spending time together in their Salem home, which they bought in 2006. They adopted a cat, known as "Kitten," who was sitting on Carter's chair as Nutter spoke to NH1 News.

Although it has been almost a week since the crash that claimed Carter's life, Nutter has not been able to move anything in the house.

She said her biggest fear is that he will be forgotten.

Nutter plans to have Carter cremated, and will host a remembrance ceremony on July 2 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham.

She has also established a trust in Carter's name at Service Credit Union to help with monthly expenses.

Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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