South Bay News
Arrests made in San Jose crash that injured mom, child
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose residents who live on a street that's used as a highway and a raceway are saying enough is enough after a car slammed into a home, critically injuring a mother. "They've been doing donuts in this four intersection area here for years," one man told ABC7 News.
San Jose police announced Thursday that two juvenile suspects are in custody after the horrendous accident on Leigh Avenue in San Jose. One driver goes to Leigh High School, the other goes to Leland High School. "It's a felony, reckless driving with major injury. That was the only charge we have so far, but there may be more coming," said San Jose police spokesman Albert Morales.
Neighbors say they are sick of all the speeding and racing that goes on when school gets out in the afternoon and worry that someone will get killed.
The accident happened just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. Police say a pair of BMWs was speeding on Leigh Avenue. They say the driver of one car apparently lost control, smashing into the other. That car careened into the house, crushing a 40-year-old woman. She was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Her 9-year-old daughter was buried in the rubble, but fortunately suffered only cuts and bruises.
Folks who live in the area say it's an epidemic -- students with fast cars using the street as a drag strip. Leigh High School is only a couple of blocks away. "We've had problems. We even had a meeting with the school once. All the neighbors got together," said one man.
Everyone there seems to have witnessed at least one of the dangers of speeding cars. "Some drunken teenagers came around the corner and flipped their car as they were negotiating the corner from a side street to Lee Avenue, and were upside down and airborne," neighborhood resident Alayne Yellum said.
Another neighbor told ABC7 News that in January, another car plowed into the lawn of the house. "One of the kids tried to take this corner and misjudged it, and ended up in the lawn of the house that now has the damage," she said.
The 17-year-old driver of the red BMW goes to Leigh High School and Leigh High School senior Lauren Eklund says she knows him. "He races a lot. Like every single weekend, I'm pretty sure he goes out and does racing," she said.
Eklund also said that there's a culture of racing cool, fast cars like BMWs. In student vernacular, it's called "running 'em." "You see a student and you're like, 'Oh, you have a BMW. Let's hit up after school. Let's just hang out.' And you just start driving around and I guess you just start going fast and you start racing," Eklund said.
Neighbors say they've complained to police about the things that happen on Leigh Avenue in the past, but say police haven't done anything about it. A police spokesman said they would check up on the issue, but currently, Leigh Avenue is not one of the police department's designated vehicular hotspots for accidents.
Family members of the two young drivers declined to be interviewed Thursday, but someone who coaches one of them described that student as "remorseful." The school district released a statement saying they has brought in more counselors for students who want to talk and added that they hoped this incident would be a teachable moment.
san jose, children, crash, SJPD, south bay news, vic lee
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