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Dallas highway race, alcohol caused seven-vehicle crash

An early morning multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 35 was caused by street racing, according to police investigators and a witness who saw the Dallas crash. Two people died in the multiple car accidents, three victims were hospitalized and an unidentified person was charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Chaos erupted on the highway after a Chevrolet Chevelle and another car began to race, speeding along the southbound lanes. A third car, a Cadillac which apparently had no part in the race, glanced off the Chevelle after hitting a guardrail.

The Chevelle slammed into the rear of a tractor-trailer, which split nearly in half and caught fire. Seven vehicles were caught up in the chain reaction accident. Two people in the Cadillac were killed. Three others were injured, including the Chevelle driver, and sent to hospitals.

A witness along the interstate who was helping a disabled motorist said it was obvious the cars were racing. The observer said when the Chevelle hit the big rig, the accident reminded him of a crash dummy test.

Accident victims’ names and the identity of the person charged with causing the fatal accident were not made public. Police were scrambling to control the fiery scene, as impatient drivers stuck in backed up traffic tried to exit the interstate using on-ramps.

Reports were mixed on whether the car racing the Chevelle was also involved in the pileup. The witness thought the car fled the scene.

Toxicology tests are routine procedures in fatal traffic accidents, although police suspect that alcohol use was a contributing element in the Dallas crash.

Most drivers cannot imagine intentionally placing others on the road in danger. Perceptive, safe drivers imagine the consequences of recklessness before getting behind the wheel. Negligent drivers take risks like willfully drinking and driving or accepting a dare to race.

Sometimes, drunk drivers and street racers get home without causing harm. Thoughtless drivers who lose their bets face injury, death, criminal charges, loss of freedom and civil court actions brought by innocent accident victims.

Source: dfw.cbslocal.com, "2 People Dead After Fiery Dallas Car Crash," Bud Gillett, Aug. 21, 2012

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