Video: Street Racing Leads To Deaths And Massive Freeway Shutdown

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Photo: Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times

It’s sad that these days many of us drive our cars too fast on local freeways, and we don’t take into account that we are fortunate nothing bad has happened. Yet, we badmouth police for not letting us have our innocent fun simply because we assume we were being safe. But early Saturday morning just past midnight, it wasn’t so innocent, and it wasn’t safe.

Two vehicles were racing each other, admitted the driver of a Dodge Challenger, Dealio Lockhart of Whittier, when a tragic, multi-car accident occurred on the freeway in Commerce, California. The driver of the other car, a Dodge Charger, sped away after the crash that took the lives of three innocent people, two on their way back from Disneyland with friends.

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Photo: ABC 7 Eyewitness News

According to Lockhart, the two vehicles were approaching speeds over 85 mph when he tried to get around slower traffic. As the car he was trying to pass merged, he slammed on the brakes losing control of his car and hit a UPS big rig, sending it out of control. The UPS truck hit the center divide, shearing off the top of a Nissan, and burst into flames. The driver of the UPS truck, later identified by his union as Scott Treadway of Mira Loma, died at that scene.

The two passengers in the back seat of that Nissan also died at the scene, while the driver and front seat passenger are listed in critical condition. The Nissan was heading north, while the two street racers were heading south.

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Photo: NBC News

Three others in the multiple car collision were injured, and the chain-reaction accident was so severe it was said that freeway will have to be repaved because of the damage. The accident had the freeway blocked in both directions for approximately 24 hours, according to ABC Eyewitness News.

Members in the automotive community are all over social media talking about this horrible accident, and chastising the two street racers as well as the lack of severity in the charges. But the truth is that many of us have indulged in high speed driving at one time or another, and as mentioned, we are fortunate that nothing has happened. The point is, if you’re trying to get from point A to point B faster than another driver, then you are technically street racing whether you want to admit it or not.

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Photo: ABC7 Eyewitness News

The age old excuse of “there aren’t any racetracks near me” is lame, and this needs to stop. Take it to a track if you want to race, and keep it off of public roads where innocent people become victims to your brief moment of feigned victory.

We should all learn a valuable lesson from this: we say that we’ve never caused an accident from high-speed driving on the freeway, and up until this accident early Saturday morning, neither had these two drivers. We are too reactive and not enough pro-active, and we need to realize that it’s not worth the risk we take, because even if we assume we are in control of our vehicles, we are not in control of the other vehicles on the road.

It’s time to stop using the excuse that we’re good drivers, because tragic scenes like this can happen in an instant and it will haunt you for years to come. Lockhart, police had stated, will be charged with vehicular manslaughter. They are searching for the driver of the dark-colored Charger, and ask if anyone has information on the driver to please contact your local authorities.

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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