Three people were killed in a recent street racing accident in Indianapolis when a Trailblazer, which was not involved in the race, was hit by a Ford Mustang driven by 20-year old Conner Tomlinson. Thomlinson was racing an as of yet unidentified driver in a Chevrolet Corvette on South East Street near interstate 465, a long, straight stretch of road that witnesses report is popular with drag racers, when due to the slippery conditions he fishtailed his car, struck the median and crossed over into the oncoming lane where he hit the Trailblazer. The occupants of the SUV, Rebeca Rodriguez-Gomez, 52, her 12-year-old daughter Jasmine Alday-Rodriguez, and 59-year-old Rogelio Legorreta were all killed in the crash. With Tomlinson in the Mustang were three passengers, including a 10-year-old child, all of whom are reportedly listed as being in good condition. The Corvette, which was apparently not involved in the collision, fled the scene.
A Changing Scene
Street racing has existed for about as long as motor vehicles have been common, but recent pop culture phenomenons like the Fast And The Furious movie franchise and the Discovery Channel show Street Outlaws has brought both attention and glamor to what used to be a very niche underground activity, and with this a rapid increase in street racing related accidents and fatalities. Technology has also played a part in this proliferation: with the availability of cellular phones and the internet what used to be primarily disorganized “pick-up” races stemming from random encounters is evolving into a much larger, semi-organized phenomenon that often brings other criminal activities like drugs and underage drinking with it.
A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System found that approximately 49 people out of every 1,000 who race will end up getting injured while pursuing the activity. And not surprisingly, most street racers are teenagers. Up until recently when street racing became a more organized activity, however, there has not been a tremendous amount of study put towards it; rather, various law enforcement groups have tended to treat instances as isolated events and thus not keep specific records aside from more all-encompassing traffic infraction and motor vehicle accident statistics.
Because of the proliferation of street racing, and a number of high-profile fatality accidents in recent years, both law enforcement and state legislatures across the country have been working to reign in some of these problems. What used to be an exhibition of acceleration citation costing a few hundred dollars can now carry heavy fines and jail time at best and the confiscation and destruction of the offender’s vehicle at worst in many jurisdictions. Considering that someone can very easily have $10,000 or more, plus the price of the actual vehicle, in a build, these more strict laws will hopefully have a rapid effect on this practice.
Contact An Indiana Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence in a street racing incident or other car accident, contact the Indianapolis car accident legal team of Rowe & Hamilton Attorneys at Law today to learn about your options.