On the evening of Oct. 23, a total of 15 vehicles were involved in a car accident along Florida’s State Road 417. The exact cause of the crash was not immediately known, but investigators determined that two cars collided initially and set off a chain reaction.
Street racing or road rage suspected
The multi-car collision began after two 18-year-old drivers in a 2012 Chevy Cruz and a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta collided with each other while traveling southbound. After the initial collision, 13 other vehicles that were traveling at speeds between 65 and 85 miles per hour crashed while attempting to swerve or avoid the wrecked vehicles.
While being questioned separately by State Troopers, both of the 18-year-old drivers said that the other driver was driving aggressively. A witness and victim of the accident told Florida Highway Patrol, or FHP, that she thought the first two vehicles were having a street race. A lieutenant with FHP told reporters that Central Florida has had a problem with street racing car accidents since the lockdowns last year.
Several injuries, no deaths
Among the 24 people who were involved in the accident, six were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Troopers had to review dash cam footage and other evidence before making a decision about filing criminal charges.
Liability for street racing accidents
Racing on public streets is considered reckless criminal behavior. If a driver causes an accident while they are engaged in a street race, they could be liable for the victims’ injuries. Drivers who are racing on public roads may be criminally charged even if they don’t cause an accident.