A late-night street race between two brothers turned deadly Wednesday when one of them lost control of his vehicle and crashed into another vehicle, killing himself and seriously injuring three people.
The brothers were racing east on the open, straight mile-long stretch of Highland Avenue about 10 p.m. when the pace of competition quickly changed.
One of the brothers lost control of his 1992 Mitsubishi GT 3000, causing it to slide head-on into a Toyota Corolla traveling west, said Lt. Rich Lawhead, spokesman for the San Bernardino Police Department.
“I can’t imagine… what it feels like,” he said of the surviving brother.
The San Bernardino County coroner’s office later identified the dead brother as 19-year-old Mark Anthony Jimenez.
The driver and passengers inside the Toyota were not racing and just happened to be driving through the area at the time, he said.
They suffered major injuries, and one had undergone several surgeries, Lawhead said.
Police tried to talk to Jimenez’s brother, but he declined to give a statement. The brother was not arrested.
Investigators were working to determine the brothers’ speeds and what may have caused them to crash.
The stretch of road may attract drivers looking to race because it’s long with few obstacles, Lawhead said.
Still, he said, police haven’t received complaints of street races occurring on the road.
The latest crash is one in a series of deadly street races this year.
On Feb. 26, Eric Siguenza, 26, of Los Angeles and Wilson Thomas Wong, 50, of Torrance were killed while watching a nighttime speed contest in Chatsworth.
A Ford Mustang spun out of control and plowed into a crowd, killing them and injuring a third man.
Henry Michael Gevorgyan, the owner of the Mustang, turned himself in to authorities and is being held on $1-million bail. Irael Valenzuela, the alleged driver of the other vehicle in the race, was released from jail last month on more than $2-million bail.
They are charged with two criminal counts of murder and have been ordered to stand trial.
Then on March 31, Gardena police said a driver was killed when he crashed during an illegal street race near Vermont Avenue and Redondo Beach Boulevard. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the street race drove away before police arrived at the crash.
This week, deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s station in Santa Clarita foiled a planned street race after receiving a tip from someone who had heard about it on Instagram.
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