Half-empty streets lure street racers, risk of deadly crashes
The streets have never looked emptier than they have the past few weeks since the Covid-19 outbreak led to stay-at-home orders by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Some workers have been laid off, others are working from home and just about everyone has significantly cut back on traveling anywhere other than the local grocery store.
Traffic is limited mostly to essential workers, delivery drivers and trucks, medical-related trips and getting groceries.
But as traffic comes to a screeching halt in the Golden State, street racing side shows and street takeovers are on the rise. These empty streets and wide-open freeways are very enticing for fans of street racing. Hundreds of people are hitting the streets to participate in and watch dangerous and illegal side shows in Los Angeles and other areas in California, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
These gatherings are a huge risk to both spectators and drivers, but not just because of the close-up driving stunts and races. People attending these gatherings are also at risk of contacting Covid-19. Many of these gatherings are promoted on social media, but when someone is killed in winds up in the news.
That’s what happened this past Monday in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. Three people were killed in a two-car crash around 2 a.m. in the 600 block of North Highland Avenue. Two BMWs were allegedly racing and crashed into a palm tree in the roadway median. Both drivers and one passenger died and a second passenger was badly hurt.
Further north in Ceres, California, passenger, Sergio Alfaro, 16, died when he was ejected from a car allegedly involved in a drag race on Blaker Road.
Three other boys who were in the vehicle were injured in the rollover crash. Police were told by witnesses that the 16-year-old driver was engaged in a drag race with another vehicle and lost control on a dirt patch in the roadway. The 16-year-old driver was among the three survivors. He was booked into Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. The charges against him include driving without a license and vehicle manslaughter with gross negligence.
On April 4th in Monrovia, two people suffered major injuries after a violent crash in the 1900 block of South Myrtle Avenue. The drivers were allegedly speeding when one of them swerved into opposing traffic and hit the other one. The impact split one of the vehicles in half when it struck an Edison pole and left both drivers critically injured.
The above collisions remain under investigation.
Indeed, the CHP is handed out a lot more tickets in March 2020 than it did in March 2019. Drivers going 100 mph-plus on California increased by nearly 42% in March 2020 over last year, according to the CHP. However, the overall number of speeding citations dropped nearly 18% last month.
Two drivers in Fresno found out what happens when you get caught. On April 28th, they were arrested and had their cars were impounded for 30 days. They were pulled over for street racing at speeds above 120 mph on Highway 41 near Manning Avenue in Fresno County. Fortunately, there was no collision involved, and Fresno police officers remain on the lookout to stop other racers .
The good news is, police also have emptier streets and can respond quicker. Hopefully the novelty of the situation wears off and there are no more senseless injuries and deaths during this unprecedented time in history.
Johnson Attorneys Group does not represent any of the parties mentioned above nor is it our intent to represent any of the parties. If you have legal questions or would like to contribute to this story, please contact us.
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