Maryland Auto Injury News: High-speed Street Racing Blamed for I-70 Fatalities in Baltimore County

It goes without saying that street racing has no place on public roads. Aggressive driving can and usually does result in injuries. For those who would argue the point, I suggest you buy a helmet, join a bona fide racing organization like the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and take your car on a closed course where proper car and spectator safety measures are in effect.

As an automobile accident attorney and personal injury lawyer, I read all too frequently of innocent motorists and pedestrians killed or injured by one or another case of aggressive driving. It makes little difference if it’s a so-called “planned” event like an illegal street racing meet, or if it’s a spur of the moment, road-rage incident, people can and do get hurt. A high-speed crash can cause broken bones, head and neck injuries, or even death. Spectators can also be killed by a driver’s mistake, which then invites possible vehicular homicide charges.

According to news reports, concrete barriers have been added to Interstate 70 in an effort to try and cut down on the amount of street racing incidents. This latest change followed a fatal car accident last year that claimed the lives of two spectators during one of many illegal speed events.

Police reports show that a Chevy Impala driven by Donniel Raeburn, 26, of Pikesville veered out of control striking and killing Mary Kathryn Abernathy, 21, and Jonathan Henderson, 20. Raeburn was recently arrested and currently faces two charges of negligent manslaughter by auto and negligent homicide by auto. If convicted, he could spend decades in prison.

Following that fatal July 2009 accident, the state’s highway authority made changes at the end of I-70 where much of the racing had been going on. Known as a street racing hot spot, there are now new lane markers indicating a narrowing of the roadway — the tail of the interstate is now just a single lane.

Still, police say that street racing is nearly impossible to stop. In addition to last year’s two deaths, a similar accident two years ago in Prince George’s County claimed eight other lives.

Eastern Baltimore Co. Man Charged In Fatal I-70 Crash Reporting,, January 18, 2010

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