Suspected Street Racing Crashes Kill 3 in Central Florida This Weekend

Two high-speed crashes have claimed the lives of three people over the past weekend in Central Florida. Witnesses state that the accidents were the result of illegal street racing.

On Saturday, two sisters, Noemi Hammen, 61, and Maria Ramirez, 58, of West Melbourne were turning into a Palm Bay Publix plaza when their car was struck by at least one car travelling at a high rate of speed. The hit-and-run crash at Babcock and Palm Bay Road claimed both their lives, leaving investigators on a hunt for the perpetrator. Police stated that the vehicle that hit them may have been street racing, according to witnesses.

Also on Saturday, a 47-year-old DeLand man was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash on I-4 in Volusia County. Florida Highway Patrol said that witnesses saw the man engage in a street race on I-4 westbound when he lost control of his car and ran off the road near Saxon Boulevard. Debris from the crash propelled forward and broke the rear window of a vehicle carrying two adults and two children – none of which were injured.

What is Considered Street Racing in Florida?

Street racing guidelines are defined by Florida Statutes 316.191, which outlines that you are not allowed to be involved in a street race in any way, including as a spectator. A person may not:

  • Drive in a race
  • Coordinate a race
  • Ride as a passenger in a race
  • Collect money at a race
  • Purposefully cause traffic to slow or stop for a race
  • Be a spectator at a race
  • Gamble on a race

Street races are defined as the use of a motor vehicle in a competition to out-distance another motor vehicle on a public street or highway. If you have shown any involvement in a street race in Florida, you could face charges.

What are the Penalties for Street Racing in Florida?

Street racing is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. Penalties largely depend on whether you have previous convictions for racing. First-time offenders could face:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • License suspension of up to 1 year
  • Vehicle impoundment or forfeiture
  • Up to 1 year of jail time

Second offense penalties may include:

  • Fines of up to $3,000
  • License suspension of a minimum of 1 year
  • Vehicle impoundment or forfeiture
  • Jail time

On top of facing jail time, fines, losing your vehicle, and discontinued driving privileges, your criminal record could prevent you from renting an apartment or getting a job in the future.

Defend Yourself from an Orlando Street Racing Charge

Florida Highway Patrol troopers have noticed an uptick in street racing around Central Florida. Over the past year, troopers have been doing overnight operations and bringing in auxiliary troopers to shut down street racing events. Police have also written hundreds of tickets for illegally modified vehicles in an attempt to discourage their participation in future street races. If you have been charged with street racing, The Umansky Law Firm may be able to help.

Your life should not be determined by a single mistake. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of Floridians and helped them avoid criminal charges. Call (407) 228-3838 or complete one of our online contact forms for a free case evaluation today – because everyone deserves a second chance.