Drag Racing Still a Problem

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

Fifteen people are facing drag racing or related charges after the Augusta County Sheriff's Office caught them at the end of a race last Friday.

Sheriff's deputies went out to Indian Mound Road after a resident reported seeing cars racing. When deputies arrived, they say they saw the end of a drag race and eight cars lined up on the side of the road.

"A number of individuals were charged with drag racing and a number of individuals at the scene not actively engaged in the act itself were charged with aiding a drag race which is a separate offense," says Investigator Glenn Hanger, Augusta County Sheriff's Office.

He says they've been trying to crack down on drag racing since an accident killed 18-year-old Brittany Engleman. She was ejected from the car she was riding in when it lost control a few months ago in an incident may have been a drag race.

"You have two cars that start out side by side and one is normally in an on-coming lane unless it is a duel highway. So there is risk associated with it," says Hanger.

Elizabeth Coleman says drag racing is not a new problem on Indian Mound Road. She says it's gotten better, but she wants it stopped permanently.

"I have small kids. When I come home in the evening, you kind of wonder if something is going to fly around the corner," says Coleman.

Hanger says deputies were lucky to catch so many involved with this incident, because such gatherings aren't usually so large.

"We don't see a lot of organized drag racing. It does occur. We know several spots where it goes on. It's very hard to catch someone in the act given it only takes a few seconds to catch someone," says Hanger.

The sheriff's office says the best way to catch drag racing and stop racers is to have people call police when they hear or see it. However, officials also say there is no simple answer to this problem, because as long as racing is liked, they say people will keep breaking the law.

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