Teens may face charges after drag racing leads to injury accident
Two Robert E. Lee students face jail time tonight after police say they drag raced down a busy Tyler street causing a collision. Police say a woman was taking her granddaughter to school just before 9:00 am this morning when they were hit head on in the 1400 block of East Southeast Loop 323. They were taking to the hospital along with the driver. As KLTV 7's Molly Reuter explains, police say the teenagers are lucky no one was killed.
It's one of Tyler's busiest streets, and as usual this morning, Loop 323 was packed as people made their way to work and school.
"I was actually sitting at my desk at the time, and I heard this loud crash and when I went outside there was actually a car knocked into my parking lot."
Jason Wright of Century 21 says he could not believe what he saw this morning - a 54 year old woman and her 16 year old granddaughter trapped in their car.
"I thought someone was killed, I thought someone has to be dead," said Wright.
Police say a 16 year old driving this silver Honda Civic was racing a Chevy Silverado driven by a 17 year old. When the 16 year old switched lanes, police say he lost control of his car, hit the median and went airborne. He landed in front of oncoming traffic hitting the woman and her granddaughter.
"I was absolutely furious when I found out what had happened from one of the witnesses because the two were racing all the way from Broadway through here," said Wright.
"Those people...were just on their way to school, they were very, very lucky they were not killed," said Tyler public information officer Don Martin.
Police say drag racing is a problem in Tyler and unlike the old days, racing can put you in jail.
"It used to be just a citation where we would give them a ticket, and they would go to municipal court and pay a fine. They've changed the laws because it's become so dangerous, there are more cars out on the street that we've actually made it a class B misdemeanor," said Officer Martin.
That means the teens, who police say were just trying to have a little fun, now face charges of racing, causing serious bodily injury, a possible 2nd degree felony. The 17 year old, police say, left the scene of the accident and could face additional charges. The victims, a 54 year old woman is in fair condition at Mother Francis Hospital, her 16 year old granddaughter is in good condition, the 16 year old driver is also in good condition tonight.