UPDATE: LA Street Racer Charges Upgraded To Three Counts Of Murder

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Images: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of the suspected street racer who was responsible for a chain reaction accident that involved up to ten vehicles and left three people dead. It happened early Saturday morning when the driver of a Dodge Challenger admitted to racing another driver in a Dodge Charger at speeds above 85 mph on a busy Los Angeles freeway.

5crash2An error in judgement caused him to collide with a UPS truck, which sent the truck careening out of control and over the center divide. This chain reaction accident sheared the top off a Nissan heading the opposite direction on the freeway, killing both back seat passengers in the Nissan, and the driver of the UPS truck. Several other injuries were reported, the other driver sped off like a coward.

The driver of the Challenger, Dealio Lockhart, 35, was booked Saturday, and his charges have been upgraded to three counts of second-degree murder. Second-degree murder charges typically stem from an act of non-premeditation, where the crime of killing another human being occurs with no planning out in advance. These crimes are spur of the moment with a weapon – in this case, a vehicle – and are automatically considered when the crime doesn’t qualify for first degree murder.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office will also be charging Lockhart with four counts of reckless driving on a highway causing injury. Prosecutors in the case requested his bail to be set at $3.2 million, up from $1 million, meaning Lockhart could remain in custody until the trial. If he is convicted of all charges, he could face up to life in state prison.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County supervisors approved a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the second driver accused of causing the accident that had the 5 freeway shut down for more than a day. If anyone has any information about the driver of the Dodge Charger, please contact your local authorities.

What Is Street Racing?

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This is the result of two drivers racing on public streets. Street racing is the act of racing on the street, regardless of how the race starts or ends.

The debate of whether or not they were “street racing” seems to be the hot topic among enthusiasts. Whether you define “street racing” as having a flagman and a starting line or two cars trying to get from point A to point B faster than the other is inconsequential. The point here is that two drivers were racing each other on a public street, and lives were lost as a result of this act.

Lockhart admitted to racing, and the other driver fled the scene, which, if caught, will bring ever more charges to him. It’s time we stop using the excuse of not having local racetracks as a reason for racing on the streets. Find one, travel to one, or help your community create an event, but please stop racing on public roadways – it’s just not worth the risk to yourself, or others.

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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