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Old 05-02-2004, 07:06 PM   #1
crunchymilk55
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Street Racing death hits too close to home.

I knew this kid. This is terrible, but some of my friends have traded in their imports for big-bodies because of this. R.I.P Simeon

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met....61c0603c.html
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Old 05-02-2004, 07:08 PM   #2
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

link dont work buddie it askes you to register...
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Old 05-02-2004, 07:11 PM   #3
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Yeah, I registered, but I'll just post the story.

'2 Fast 2 Furious': Street racing taking deadly toll
Web Posted: 04/25/2004 12:00 AM CDT

Tracy Idell Hamilton
and Vincent T. Davis
San Antonio Express-News

Clutching the steering wheel of his beloved 1999 Mustang GT, Simeon Piña punched the gas and roared down the dark access road of Loop 1604 North.

Glory arrived in seconds as Piña, racing at more than 100 mph, beat the silver Honda in the next lane.

Then his older brother and friends at the starting line heard a sickening pop and saw smoke.

Piña's red Mustang had torn through a wrought iron fence, ripped an oak tree in two and come to rest against a water pipe. Piña was trapped, his bloody face pressed against the steering wheel.

"Show me you're still alive," Frankie Estrada, the first friend on the scene, implored Piña.

Piña bit the steering wheel.

"At least I won," he said with a last gasp.

Buried in a cemetery his parents can see from their living room, Piña — a 17-year-old high school student when he died April 8 — is the latest victim of a street-racing revival that has lured teenage boys in souped-up cars to smooth stretches of asphalt around Bexar County.

Two years after a handful of racing-related deaths raised awareness and prompted tougher laws, the illegal sport has claimed three more victims in San Antonio. Two of them were not racing but were struck by racers.

Like many American cities, San Antonio has grappled with street racing for years.

Police nationwide saw a surge in racing after the 2001 movie "The Fast and the Furious" drew more young hot-rodders to the streets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent figures, street racing was a factor in 135 fatal crashes three years ago, doubling the death rate in one year.

The National Hot Rod Association says 49 people are injured for every 1,000 who take part in street racing.

Until September 2003, street racing was a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. The penalty was a $200 ticket and no jail time — hardly a deterrent, especially to dedicated racers, police said.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, got drawn into the issue after a neighbor, 17-year-old Jessica Santos, became one of five street racing deaths in 2002.

His legislation upgraded street racing to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, a yearlong license suspension, and additional punishments for alcohol use or racing-related injury or deaths.

"I think it's being treated as the serious crime that it is," said District Attorney Susan Reed, whose office took a special interest in the crime after the 2002 deaths.

Police say the changes are a good start, but they'd like to see more done.

"Especially for the younger drivers," said Sgt. Ernest Celaya, a San Antonio traffic officer who has dealt with street racers. "Jail was a big surprise. I think it's stopped some of them."

For hard-core racers, he said, seizing cars is the best deterrent. Along with vehicle seizure, which is being done in some cities, traffic officers say they'd like to see a ban on the use of the performance-boosting gas nitrous oxide for street vehicles.

But law enforcement and prosecution can only go so far, officials acknowledge. Since most racers are young, between 16 and 24, educating parents is another crucial component in the fight.

The lives of those who race are not the only ones at stake.

In February, Senior Airman Christopher Pedroley, 21, was thrown from a car that rolled several times after being rammed from behind by one of two racers barreling down Loop 410.

Less than three weeks later, Felipe Rodriguez, 71, was struck by a racer and killed just 30 feet from his South Side house on Texas 16.

In that case, a 20-year-old man was charged at the scene with vehicular manslaughter.

In the cases of Pedroley and Piña, the drivers of the other vehicles haven't been found. Police plan to file charges against the driver who raced Piña.

Ruben Piña Sr. and his wife, Cindy, knew that their son, a Judson High School student, loved cars; a picture of Simeon sitting in his Mustang hangs in the family's hallway. But they had no idea he was racing.

"What could I have done?" asked Piña, a part-time pastor who lives in Schertz.

"As a parent you can't eliminate (the dangers of growing up), but you can minimize them. I ask myself, what could I have done so this wouldn't have happened?"

It is a question San Diego parents, law enforcement and prosecutors found themselves asking repeatedly in 2002, after street racing killed 15 young men and women in the Southern California city.

They attacked the problem from all angles, creating a track where people could race safely, starting education programs for parents and teens, and increasing penalties — they even made the act of watching a street race illegal.

Two years later, San Diego police say illegal racing has dropped 99 percent.

"We just kept trying different things," said Sgt. Greg Sloan, who heads up the San Diego department's undercover "Drag Net" unit, the only police unit in the country to deal full-time with illegal street racing.

A video camera has become a regular weapon in its arsenal against racing. Officers catch racing cars on tape, and then send letters to registered owners, alerting them that their cars are racing.

Sloan remembers a call from a man insisting the police had taped the wrong car.

"He said he wasn't home the weekend we photographed his car out racing," Sloan said. "I asked who was, and he said only his 16-year-old son. I didn't say anything, waiting for him to put two and two together."

But racing can be a legitimate sport, he said. If young drivers show no signs of abandoning the desire to race, Sloan suggested buying them a five-point racing harness and a helmet and sending them to a track.

In San Diego, hundreds of nascent street racers now spend Friday nights in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot, fulfilling their need for speed on dual side-by-side 1/8-mile racetracks.

San Diego's efforts are ongoing, and law enforcement agencies around the country are watching with interest, many adopting the new tactics.

Counties in Washington and Oregon are seizing cars; Clark County, Nev., has passed an anti-spectator ordinance; and Florida recently has increased penalties for illegal street racing.

Like San Diego, San Antonio offers legal options at two tracks, Alamo Dragway on the South Side, and San Antonio Raceway just east of the city in Marion.The dragway opens its tracks three nights a week; drivers must bring a helmet.

Trinity Bussell, a friend of Simeon Piña's who watched him die, wants his death to make a more lasting impression.

She is working to create a program called Students Against Street Racing, in which students sign contracts vowing to prevent friends from racing.

"I didn't want other families to go through what we did," Bussell said. "I wanted something positive to come out of Simeon's death."

She's trying to raise $357 to print contracts and posters of Piña before announcing the schoolwide program to students.

Ruben Piña Jr. said his brother's death has deeply affected his racing friends. They've disbanded their car club and are selling their hot rods.

"They're putting ads in the paper; they're trading them in," said Ruben, who watched Simeon race to his death.

One of their friends, Tim Dunbar, said Simeon's death "stopped me."

He spoke from a parking lot in the Forum complex on the Northeast Side, where dozens of car enthusiasts and their families congregate on Friday evenings. Piña's friends and family had gathered for a tribute Dunbar put together for the car-loving young man.

Wearing a T-shirt with Piña's picture on it, Dunbar, 17, looked over the sea of speedsters.

"It puts it in your head, what if it was you?"



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
thamilton@express-news.net
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Old 05-02-2004, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

You live right by that area?

I cant believe that guy couldnt even think,that his son was racing.Shame
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Old 05-02-2004, 07:38 PM   #5
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Yeah, I actually would have been there..probably racing that night. I went to a party instead, they went out to race, I stayed. Just makes you realize street racing isn't worth a life.
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:14 PM   #6
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

one problem 17 year old with a hot car.. I can tell you if I owned my current car when I was 17 I don't think I'd be around.

I know my limits now and won't push my car like when I was 17. Very sad, but like I said hot car young kid doesn't make sense.. even if it was a normal car and beefed up not good with younger people.
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:24 PM   #7
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

Thats a terrible shame, im sorry for the guy.


"...traffic officers say they'd like to see a ban on the use of the performance-boosting gas nitrous oxide for street vehicles."

Thats stupid, not all people use that for racing street cars that go off roading sometimes uses nos, also have they ever heard about ppl going to a track with thier street vehicle use nos, not on the street but a track even though the car is a street legal car.
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:26 PM   #8
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

how did he crash i think imissed that. did he mess up while driving or did he hit a wet spot or something.
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

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Originally Posted by duffman667
how did he crash i think imissed that. did he mess up while driving or did he hit a wet spot or something.

thats a big factor, this is an anti-street racing news article...which I completly understand, but how did it happen? Besides a 17yr old racing a very powerfull and expensive car. Probally did not buy himself, and perhaps even had no respect for the ammount of power he was weilding or the danger and risks of it? Not a slant against him, I didnt know him I just want to know what happened more.
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:46 PM   #10
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

If this guy was a close friend then I feel for you, man.

However... if you wanna play the game you accept the risk. He could've died a million other ways (food poisoning for example) so why worry it? I'd be more worried about getting a permanent driving mark & having my car sold off to pay for seat pads in the local patrol cars.

By the way, what is a "big-body" car?
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:52 PM   #11
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

shame and a loss....but that's allpart of "living on the edge"

i don't think ur friends trading in their cars for other cars is gonna help the situation seeing hat people race in any knida car....itz all about awareness....if u race u have to be aware of ur surrounding and have total concentration on other traffic....even still...u can still cause a crash...

but like DMC12 said"if u wanna play the game you have to accept the risk"
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:16 PM   #12
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymilk55
Piña's red Mustang had torn through a wrought iron fence, ripped an oak tree in two and come to rest against a water pipe. Piña was trapped, his bloody face pressed against the steering wheel.

"Show me you're still alive," Frankie Estrada, the first friend on the scene, implored Piña.

Piña bit the steering wheel.

"At least I won," he said with a last gasp.
LMAO! Oh God! What a dumbass.

But hey, I'm all for street racing. It's not like anyone not involved gets hur... Oh wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymilk55
In February, Senior Airman Christopher Pedroley, 21, was thrown from a car that rolled several times after being rammed from behind by one of two racers barreling down Loop 410.

Less than three weeks later, Felipe Rodriguez, 71, was struck by a racer and killed just 30 feet from his South Side house on Texas 16.
Those FUCKING BASTARDS! How DARE they get in the way of a street race!?

Last edited by l33tc4k30fd00m; 05-04-2004 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:23 PM   #13
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

its a shame people have to die 4 a race. Its like a game without a reset button.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:53 PM   #14
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Re: Street Racing death hits too close to home.

very sad, ive seen quite a few racers get into serious accidents, luckily no one died, but im glad to be out of that, i just keep it at the track now
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:29 AM   #15
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Seriously l33tc4k30fd00m, FUCK you

My friend just died and u called him a dumbass. Eat shit and die.
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