Street racing is dangerously reckless behavior and takes the lives of innocent bystanders in Dallas. The number of street racing deaths and injuries has spurred Dallas police to ask city leaders for more authority to ticket those present at street racing events and to seize their vehicles.
Recently, The Dallas Morning News reported there had been at least three street-racing related deaths in the prior year, including an 8-year-old girl last May. On February 16, CBS News in Dallas-Fort Worth reported that one person had been killed and another injured after a street racing crash in Pleasant Grove, a community in southeast Dallas.
The child who died last spring was killed when a racer struck the car she was in, also in Pleasant Grove. Another child who was sitting in the back seat was hospitalized in critical condition after the crash. Three men, ages 27 to 62, were initially charge with four counts of racing on a highway and causing serious bodily injury in connection to the fatal crash.
In the most recent Pleasant Grove street racing death, Kendrick Lyons, a 45-year-old Dallas man “was attempting to cross Masters Drive in a silver 2017 Nissan Sentra when the driver of (a) black Camaro hit Lyons, causing Lyons’ vehicle to spin around and strike the median. The impact caused him to be thrown from the vehicle across three lanes and into a front yard.”
The 23-year-old driver of the black Camaro was hospitalized with serious internal injuries. The other racer, who was 27, turned himself into police. Both drivers will be charged with racing causing death, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth said.
Last Christmas Eve, an off-duty Dallas police officer, Joseph George, died after he lost control of his 2015 Ford Mustang while racing with another car.
Dallas police approached City Council members of the Public Safety Committee to request more authority a day after 20-year-old Crystian Hernandez was killed when he fell off a truck that was spinning donuts in a parking lot and was run over. The driver was charged with manslaughter.
Four preventable deaths, families devastated and multiple arrests that will likely lead to prison time and thousands of dollars in fines – all unnecessary. All for an obviously dangerous activity.
What is Street Racing?
Street races are typically illegal drag races between two vehicles on stretches of public road. In many cases, the vehicles are fitted with aftermarket modifications to make them faster. Some racers do it to show off their cars and driving prowess. Gambling on races, by participants and spectators, is common, too.
Street racing has a long history of depiction in pop culture, as well, from the 1954 James Dean vehicle, “Rebel Without a Cause,” to today’s “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.
However, street racing has always been illegal and dangerous. Even in “Rebel Without a Cause,” Buzz, the racer opposite Dean’s character, dies in the film’s climactic race scene.
The Dallas Morning News recently published historic reprints of news about street racing fatalities.
“Official complaints of street racing have increased over the past year, but it isn’t a new problem for Dallas,” the newspaper said. “Reports of racing can be found in The Dallas Morning News archives dating back to the 1950s and gaining in prevalence during the ’80s and ’90s.”
What Does Texas Law Say About Street Racing?
Racing is illegal on public highways in Texas. It is allowed on private property.
Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 545.420, “Racing on Highway,” makes it illegal to participate in:
- a race
- a vehicle speed competition or contest
- a drag race or acceleration contest
- a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle
- in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.
Racing is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable with a fine of up to $2,000, and/or up to 180 days in jail, plus suspension of the driver’s license for up to one year. If a racer is intoxicated or has an open container of alcohol, the charge becomes a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both. A driver’s license suspension will apply, as well.
Causing bodily injury while street racing is a 3rd degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Causing serious bodily injury or death while racing illegally is a 2nd degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A street racer may also be charged with speeding and/or reckless driving, as well as with evading a police officer if the racer tries to get away.
Suffering Injuries from a Dallas Street Racing Accident
A bystander who has been injured in a street racing accident or the family of someone killed may seek compensation from the individual(s) responsible for their injuries.
Being in a collision with a speeding car can cause death or a variety of injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to paralysis
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Internal organ injuries
- Amputations (traumatic or surgical)
- Serious lacerations (cuts), which can lead to potentially fatal shock from blood loss.
Such injuries require emergency care and potentially surgery, hospitalization and rehabilitation, all of which is extremely expensive.
Texas law allows people injured by others’ negligence or recklessness to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering and more. The experienced Dallas car accident attorneys of Kraft & Associates represent seriously injured individuals and families who need to file personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Please contact Kraft & Associates in Dallas if we can help you. All initial consultations are free and without further obligation. Call us today.