Illegal Street Drag Race Kills Eight People

Police in Maryland said an uninvolved driver blinded by exhaust smoke kicked up in an early-morning street race plowed into a crowd of onlookers, killing eight and injuring six. The deadly wreck happened about 3:40 a.m. Saturday on State Route 210 in Accokeek, reported WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Veteran officers called it the “worst incident” they have ever seen. Witnesses said two cars involved in an illegal street race had been revving engines and kicking up smoke, filling the roadway with white clouds. A group of onlookers then moved into the road to watch the race when a white Ford Crown Victoria slammed into the crowd.The driver told police that he was blinded by white smoke and could not see the people before striking them. Officers said the driver was not involved in the illegal race. Race observer Crystal Gaines was standing next to her 61-year-old father when the car struck. Gaines grabbed her child but could not help her father, William Gaines Sr., 61, who was among the dead. She said she had hold of his hand, but lost her grip. “He wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t moving,” she said. “His body was in pieces.” Apparently, the driver of the white car had nothing to do with the drag race either as a participant or spectator. This is a truly tragic accident and serves as a somber remainder that illegal street racing is illegal for a very good reason – it is an ultra-hazardous activity that places the lives of spectators, drivers and people simply in the area in serious danger.

Of note, under Connecticut law, all participants in an illegal street race are legally responsible for injury caused to a third party regradless as to which racing vehicle actually caused injury to the victim. In fact, in a Connecticut case where we represented a client seriously injured as a passenger in a single car accident, the driver of the vehicle that had been racing the car in which our client rode as a passenger was held liable for her injuries. The driver’s liablity was bsed upon the fact that he had been racing.

The Connecticut�personal injury lawyers of Sabatini and Associates, LLC provide quality legal representation to clients in Hartford, Connecticut, and surrounding cities including: West Hartford, Newington, New Britain, Avon, Canton, Wethersfield, Glastonbury, East Hartford, Norwich, Granby, Rocky Hill, Bristol, Manchester, East Hartford, Plainville, Berlin, Farmington, Windsor, South Windsor, Bloomfield, Enfield and counties including New Haven County, Tolland County, Hartford County, New London County, Litchfield County and Fairfield County.