Street Racers Could Lose Their Precious Cars in L.A.

Street Racers Could Lose Their Precious Cars in L.A.
File photo by Aziz J. Hayat/Flickr

The billion-dollar The Fast and the Furious movie franchise is based on a culture, import car tuning and street racing, that has its roots in Asian-American Los Angeles in the 1990s.

Street racing is back in L.A. in a big way, perhaps in part thanks to social media technology that can allow participants to gather and scatter before police even know what hit 'em. 

But as any pro driver will tell you, real racers battle only on the track. A proposal by L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander seeks to keep racers off the streets by taking their cars.

The measure, expected to be officially proposed this week, was inspired by a street race on Plummer Street near Canoga Avenue in Chatsworth early Thursday that ended with two onlookers dead.

The 2:05 a.m. accident took place after a driver lost control of his Ford Mustang and plowed into spectators who had lined the street, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. The collision was captured on video (below).

A man identified as 26-year-old Eric Siguenza was pronounced dead at the scene, according to LAPD. The other victim, who died at a hospital, was not identified by police. A third pedestrian was hospitalized in stable condition, police said. 

The driver allegedly left the scene and was being sought until Saturday. That's when 21-year-old Henry Gevorgyan turned himself in at the LAPD's Central Division station downtown, police said. He was booked on suspicion of murder, according to the LAPD statement.

Englander's law would allow police to seize the cars of racers involved in accidents that cause grave injury or a fatality, his office told us. The ordinance also would apply to reckless drivers and those involved in exhibition of speed (burnouts, donuts, etc.). 

The councilman was also expected to introduce a motion that would allow cops to seize the cars of drivers involved in serious-injury or fatal hit-and-run collisions.

The proposals are likely to head to the City Council Tuesday, Englander's spokeswoman said.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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