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Street Racing in Orlando is a Reality and a Crime

posted Nov 2, 2012, 8:01 AM by Elisa Myer   [ updated Nov 2, 2012, 8:07 AM ]

Nearly a dozen injured in street racing crash near OIA

Six vehicles were damaged and nearly a dozen people injured after an illegal street race ended in a massive crash -- Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
  • Six vehicles were damaged and nearly a dozen people injured after an illegal street race ended in a massive crash -- Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
  • Orlando police block off the intersection of Heintzelman Boulevard and South Access Road at Orlando International Airport after an alleged street racing crash -- Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
  • Tire marks along Heintzelman Boulevard at Orlando International Airport -- Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
By Natalie Tolomeo, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, August 19, 2012, 2:57
ORANGE COUNTY -- 

A street racing accident sent approximately 50 people running for their lives early Sunday morning.

Police said a driver set off an almost deadly chain reaction after losing control of their car while street racing on the south side of Orlando International Airport.

"A single vehicle traveling at a very high rate of speed caused a chain reaction," said Lt. Arnold Alvarez from the Orlando Police Department.

A total of six vehicles were damaged after police said the driver of a Mitsubishi Mirage drove more than 100 mph into a crowd.

The crash left one person in critical condition and a dozen other witnesses injured.

Tire marks paint the pavement on Heintzelman Boulevard where the race started and then ended with a crash around 3 a.m. Sunday.

"The car was coming down super fast and just hit people in the street,” said Jean Sanchez, a witness. “It hit like seven people and people were lying on the floor."

The crash scene covered about a mile long stretch of road.

By the time officers arrived, they said most of the spectators had already fled the area, carrying several victims to area hospitals.

One of the severely wounded victims was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Sanchez was watching the race but escaped uninjured. He said something he could have been prevented for others as well.

“It was just a dumb move.  He was going super fast for no reason into a crowd of people,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the drivers and audience were not racing for cars or even money.

He said it was all just a show for fun, and said even despite the accident, racers with the need for speed will still burn tires on the pavement.

Orlando police said the area has had problems in the past.

Racers said since the city closed the Central Florida Race Course earlier this month, they don't have a choice but to turn to public roadways for competition.

Investigators have not release any information about the driver of the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Police said the driver and spectators could face charges.

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