The driver of a Dodge Charger decided to do donuts in the path of a street racing Nissan 350Z in Birmingham
December 13, 2022 at 14:24 pm
by Sebastien Bell
One person has been detained, and 16 injured, following the events of an illegal car exhibition that took place on the evening of Friday, December 9. Sadly, a five-year-old boy is among the injured, according to local news .
The accident took place on John Rogers Drive at Gun Club Road in Birmingham, Alabama, reports The Dothan Eagle. Witnesses said that a street race was taking place on the road, when the driver of a Dodge Charger decided to do donuts and was struck by one of the racing vehicles.
The vehicle that was involved in the street race, a Nissan 350Z, pushed the Charger into the crowd, injuring several people, and causing it to catch fire. In the initial first responder dispatch, a scene was described in which several people were lying on the road after being struck by the vehicles, and one woman was trapped under a vehicle.
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Two of the people who were injured are in critical condition, reports ABC 3340. In addition, one man was taken into custody. At this time, no formal charges have been laid, but police say that criminal charges are coming.
“Why would you bring your five-year-old child to a street race or exhibition driving, is the question I would ask. Why would you do that? That makes no sense whatsoever,” Scott Thurmond, Birmingham’s police chief, told media. “Now we have 16 people who are injured as a result of that and others who are facing criminal charges. Was it worth it? I don’t think so.”
As Chief Thurmond said, the city of Birmingham has had troubles with street racing. Alabama is currently in the process of introducing new legislation in an attempt to address the problem. WVTM 13 reports that state representative Allen Treadaway is planning to file a bill as early as January 13 that would introduce stiffer penalties for illegal exhibition driving.
Treadaway described the bill as adding “some teeth in the law,” with penalties for convicted individuals ranging from fines, to removing a vehicle, to imprisonment. In the case of the above collision, Treadaway said that the law “would make it a Class C felony.”
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In Alabama, that could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 year. If someone is killed, meanwhile, the crime could be upgraded to a Class B felony, which carries up to a 20-year prison sentence.
Read: One Californian City Combats Street Takeovers And Racing With 823 Tickets In A Month
Although Treadaway says that he doesn’t “know of any other way to send a stronger message that this type of behavior is killing folks, and we have to stop it,” the city of Birmingham has found some other ways to curb the behavior. In August, the city laid speed bumps at several intersections in order to deter dangerous activities, like street racing.
“We’ve experienced dramatic decreases in that type of behavior in the downtown area where we’ve put some out. Those were test strips. We’ve ordered some more,” said Police Chief Thurmond. “Once they are here, we will be putting them out strategically throughout the city.”
Although speed bump may not work on every street, Thurmond says he’s looking to the community for help, too, asking citizens who see dangerous behavior on the roads to call the police. He added, though, that this is a nationwide problem that may require buy-in from more than just local people to help stop.
“You’ve got auto manufacturers such as Dodge who’ve made a ‘donut maker’ who publicizes this type of activity and things like that,” said Thurmond. “You look on social media, YouTube, and those things, there is a plethora of this type of behavior. More times than not it ends up with vehicles being damaged, people injured, and sometimes killed.”