Three YouTube personalities and two other men are being accused of arranging and taking part in street races last year that reached speeds of up to 160 mph on Orange County’s toll roads. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the felony charges were filed after a six-month investigation into street racing on the 241 and 261 toll roads. Irvine police officers arrested the defendants on Jan. 26 and impounded their vehicles. All five were free on bail, the Register reported.
Multiple Felony Charges
Prosecutors filed multiple counts of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest against the five men, all aged between 21 and 36. They were also accused of misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and speeding. One of the men had been previously arrested on suspicion of evading police during a pursuit and resisting arrest in November.
He had been free on bail at the time the illegal street races on the toll roads were executed and filmed. He faces more than eight years in prison if convicted, while the other four defendants could face three years or more in prison if convicted.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Speeding puts the lives of drivers, passengers and others on the roadway. It is illegal under California law. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) also prohibits racing on a public roadway.
With coronavirus-related lockdowns, streets and freeways have been relatively emptier over the last 10 months and this has opened roadways up to illegal street races and illicit events known as “sideshows” where racers take over a street intersection and perform dangerous tricks. People, mostly bystanders, have died and suffered serious injuries in Southern California in these events.
In such cases, at-fault drivers, in addition to facing criminal penalties can also be held liable financially for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help injured victims and their families secure maximum compensation for their tremendous losses.