Wisconsin Man Charged in Drag Race Crash That Killed Two
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To some, street racing looks like fun. Two drivers taunt each other with their revving engines at a red light and speed off to the next intersection to see who can reach 0 to 60 the fastest. It might look innocent, but drag races like this can have devastating consequences.
Michael Howard of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, knows this first-hand. He was charged with two counts of second-degree reckless homicide in August, after he struck a vehicle with his car, killing the two people inside.
Witnesses said it appeared as though Howard was racing another vehicle at the time of the crash. When questioned by police, Howard confirmed their accounts of the incident.
The details of the crash
On the night of August 15, Howard and another driver were seen racing each other, swerving through traffic at about 80 mph. TMJ4 News says Howard tried to make a left turn when he struck another vehicle that was also turning.
Two people, Neil McCarthy and Danielle Jefferson, were in the vehicle. FOX6 News says an off-duty firefighter who witnessed the crash tried to help them, but they both died at the scene.
Besides the reckless homicide charges, Howard was also accused of knowingly operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, causing death. The complaint against him says that since 2017, "he has been found guilty of Operating After Suspension seven times, three of which were in 2021."
The problem of street racing in America
Illegal drag racing has surged across the country during the pandemic. AP News says New York City authorities received more than 1,000 complaints about drag racing over six months in 2020—a nearly five-fold increase over the same period a year before.
The problem in Wisconsin is also not limited to this one incident. Milwaukee saw a second deadly crash due to street racing in the same week as the accident caused by Howard.
Two young men died after their vehicle was struck by a car racing another vehicle. The drivers of both speeding cars face long-term prison sentences if convicted.
Lawmakers and police are cracking down on the activity in New York State, as well as Arizona California, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington D.C.
How to protect yourself from illegal street racers
Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to avoid an accident, and when a drag racer is involved, you have even less control. Cautious driving and following traffic laws give you a better chance to evade reckless drivers, but nothing can guarantee your safety.
If you are involved in an accident, it’s important to know the full scope of your car insurance coverage. Obviously, any street racer would be at fault if involved in a crash, but whatever insurance they have would be void in a situation like this, making it that much harder to have them pay for the damage they’ve caused.
If you have any questions about your coverage, you can rely on Jerry for the most accurate information. Jerry’s friendly agents are here to answer your questions and provide advice on the best coverage options. As your life changes, your insurance changes, and Jerry is ready to make those adjustments for you.