Last week, this blog described the tragic sequence of events that began with a freeway car race and ended with the deaths of three people. One of the racing drivers has been charged with three counts of murder, and, if convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. The other driver is still at large. This accident has once again called attention to an increasing and hazardous phenomenon: street racing on Los Angeles’ streets and freeways.
The recent crash is only the latest in a string of car accidents that began as a street race and ended in injury or death. A street-racing accident in Chatsworth in February 2015 killed two spectators, and another street-racing incident in Gardena in March 2015 left two persons injured and one dead. A recent street-racing accident in Hawthorne killed a musician who happened to be driving through the neighborhood where the race was staged. The accident reported in last week’s post struck the police especially hard: one of the victims was the son of a homicide detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Los Angeles police, street racing has become more frequent as young people use social media to arrange and schedule races. The police do not keep official statistics on street racing, but many local police say the number of such incidents appear to be on the rise. The rising number of fatal accidents triggered by street racing has caused local law enforcement officials to confer on how to control this very hazardous activity.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a street race may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in representing accident victims and their families. While the racing drivers may not have a claim for damages against any of the other drivers, innocent spectators or other motorists who are injured may have claims against one or more of the drivers or anyone else who instigated the race. A consultation with a knowledgeable attorney can provide a useful evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Deadly street racing fueled by social media, popular culture, police say,” Matt Stevens, Frank Shyong and Brittny Mejia, Feb. 29, 2016