Street Racing on Fleur Drive in Des Moines, Iowa Leads to Child’s DeathSteveL
Street racing is being blamed for a three-vehicle crash that resulted a 4-year-old being killed and several other people requiring medical attention. Street racing, or drag racing, are prohibited in Iowa.
There is a reason why racing on city streets is prohibited in Iowa. Losing control seems to be a reoccurring theme. After losing control, crossing over the center line is a fairly reasonable result. And crashing head-on into oncoming traffic seems to happen with regularity. Death usually ensues, which in this case it did.
Iowa Code section 321.278 states:
321.278 Drag racing prohibited. 1. a. A person shall not do any of the following: (1) Engage in any motor vehicle speed contest or exhibition of speed on any street or highway of this state. (2) Aid or abet any motor vehicle speed contest or exhibition of speed on any street or highway of this state. b. A passenger shall not be considered as aiding and abetting. c. As used in this section, “motor vehicle speed contest” or “exhibition of speed” means one or more persons competing in speed in excess of the applicable speed limit in vehicles on the public streets or highways. 2. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor. [C66, 71, 73, §321.284; C75, 77, 79, 81, §321.278] 2018 Acts, ch 1026, §112 Referred to in §707.6A, 707.8, 805.8A(5)(c)
There is a 1982 case law that discusses a street race where one of those drivers crossed the center line killing a six-year-old boy. The defendant driver was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, a Class D Felony.
State v. McFadden, 320 N.W.2d 608 (1982) Michael McFadden (defendant) and Matthew Sulgrove engaged in a drag race. Sulgrove lost control of his car and swerved into a lane of oncoming traffic where his vehicle struck another vehicle, killing him and a girl in the other car. McFadden’s car did not physically contact either of the other cars. McFadden was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. McFadden waived his right to a jury trial and was found guilty on both counts under each of three separate theories, namely that (1) he aided and abetted Sulgrove in committing involuntary manslaughter, (2) he was vicariously responsible for Sulgrove’s commission of involuntary manslaughter by reason of their joint participation in the public offense of drag racing, and (3) that McFadden himself committed involuntary manslaughter by recklessly engaging in a drag race so as to proximately cause the Sulgrove collision. McFadden appealed, arguing that the element of causation was absent.
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