Street Racing Behind Stone Mountain Girl's Death

I previously wrote before about the death of Tanesha Williams, the Stone Mountain High School student who was killed when another teen apparently lost control of his vehicle and jumped the curb. Now, it seems, two seventeen year old boys are being held accountable in this tragic accident.

The two boys, Saheed Saunders and Tomcum Siripanhya, are both being charged with racing, reckless driving and vehicular homicide. In addition to that, Saunders is accused of improper passing. It was this improper passing which caused his car to leave the road near Stone Mountain High School - which it did just shortly after classes had been dismissed. Saunders' car struck three Stone Mountain High School students, killing Tanesha Williams and injuring the other two.

The boys were released from jail late last month, Saunders on bond of $21,000, and Siripanhya on bond of $20,000.

At the time of the boys' release, DeKalb County police were still investigating the case in cooperation with the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office.

It saddened me to learn that the death of a fourteen year old girl was caused by something as reckless and preventable as street racing. Drivers of whatever age carry the responsibility to think not only of their own safety, but the safety of their passengers, of other motorists and of pedestrians. Driving is a privilege which many of us enjoy and even rely on for maintaining both our professional and personal lives.

In the case of seventeen year olds, it is still a new privilege, and one which is easy not to fully appreciate. Street racing is among numerous other dangerous driving habits which are significantly more common among teens and other younger drivers, along with driving while distracted by cell phones or texting, and driving while intoxicated. Of these three behaviors, street racing could be considered among the safest statistically. Fewer accidents are caused every year by racing than by distracted or intoxicated driving.

However, that statement ignores the obvious danger presented by street racing. Over the past few years, a wide variety of different news programs and media outlets have showcased the dangers of street racing through interviews and articles, and it is not hard to find other stories of how irresponsible, illegal street racing leads to the death of either the drivers, or other motorists or passersby whose only mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Street racing is, by its nature, dangerous. Whenever drivers choose to ignore the basic rules of the road in favor of their own "fun" or convenience, they put themselves and others at risk. Hopefully this incident will serve as a lesson for Saunders and Siripanhya, and other teens in the area. It is tragic that a young girl had to die for it.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a reckless or distracted driver, it is important to talk with an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer immediately. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.