Two Arrested for Illegal Drag Racing

The Queens District Attorney’s office is acting fast and furiously to convict alleged drag racers in East Elmhurt. Two men involved in a high-speed collision last Monday will return to court next week to face charges of reckless driving and assault.

On May 30, at about 9:15 p.m., near 85th Street and 23rd Avenue, a 1998 Lincoln turned into the street and was struck by two Acuras. Everyone survived the accident, but all three cars were demolished.

“Illegal drag races pose a tremendous danger to innocent pedestrians, passengers and other motorists,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “A vehicle weighing in excess of twenty-five hundred pounds, weaving in and out of traffic and traveling at speeds greater than sixty miles an hour, becomes a dangerous missile when racing down a city street.”

Jeffrey Duarte, 20, of Northern Boulevard in Queens, and Adalvin Garcia, 22, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, were allegedly drag racing their Acuras when Wilson Torres, in the Lincoln with his family, pulled into the street. Duarte and Garcia both face up to seven years in prison and will return to court on June 15.

Torres suffered a fractured hip and spinal injury and his wife sustained several lacerations, as did his children, 12 and 7 years old.

“It is a miracle that no one was killed,” Brown said.

The accident is reminiscent of a similar drag racing incident in August 2009, when an 11-year old was taken to the hospital in critical condition after his family’s car was struck by two drag racers on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Fresh Meadows.

But drag racing has continued across the borough: In November 2010, several residents in Maspeth clamored for the city to end drag racing on Maurice Avenue—a hot spot in the early winter for drag racing competitions.

“Maurice Avenue was not repaved for idiots to drive 100 miles per hour,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said at the time. “What if the car had spun out of control into the people foolish enough to watch the race?”

Maurice Avenue has since had speed humps installed.


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