KXAN-TV reported on March 24 that a 23-year-old Hutto man was booked into the Williamson County Jail on multiple charges related to a December 2016 crash in Round Rock that killed a couple who had been married for 42 years. According to KXAN, the alleged offender was in a Lexus racing another vehicle on Farm to Market Road 1325 (FM 1325) when he struck a Mercury Grand Marquis with enough impact to split the sedan in half.
The 68-year-old woman in the passenger seat died on impact, and her husband who was driving was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he spent several weeks recovering before dying from heart failure. KXAN reported that the alleged offender not only was driving without a valid license, but had been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in June 2016.
The alleged offender was charged with racing on highway causing death and racing on a highway causing serious bodily injury, both felony offenses. “We are seeing more of the tragedies that come out of the racing incidents,” Officer Adam Rankin of the Round Rock Police Department told KXAN.
Georgetown Street Racing Defense Attorney
Racing on a highway is typically a Class B misdemeanor under Texas Transportation Code § 545.420, although criminal charges can be enhanced based on a number of factors. Alleged offenders can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if they operate vehicles while intoxicated, were in possession of an open container, or have been previously convicted of racing on a highway.
If an alleged offender has two previous convictions, racing on a highway becomes a state jail felony. The crime is a third-degree felony if an individual suffered bodily injury as a result of the alleged offense, and an offense becomes a second-degree felony if an individual suffered serious bodily injury or death as a result of the alleged offense.
Despite language that is intended to clarify criminal conduct, the statutory language for racing on a highway has been criticized by some as being particularly vague. The facts of a case, as presented by a prosecutor, may not necessarily constitute a violation of state law.
It is always in the best interest of any person arrested for racing on a highway to immediately retain legal counsel. Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who represents clients all over the greater Williamson County area.