PHOENIX — New photos from Phoenix police show the devastation after four people were killed as a result of street racing in north Phoenix.
One of the victims, was a 28-year-old Lyft driver, Terry Hill. He had two passengers in his car when they were hit by a Toyota Camry racing a dark-colored sedan. Hill's car burst into flames, killing everyone inside.
"It's unacceptable behavior," Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said. "It's an unacceptable risk."
Mitchell addressed the penalties currently in place for cases involving street racing.
This is just one instance of many to have happened across the area.
Mitchell said recent legislation increased penalties for the crime, and that her office is clamping down on the problem.
"Previously it had been a misdemeanor, now subsequent offenses within 24 months are a felony and it also comes with mandatory fines as well as impounding of the vehicle," she said.
She also mentioned Phoenix police have a task force that focuses specifically on street racing, which seems to help.
"It's an extremely impressive squad of detectives," she said. "They all want to be there, they all understand how dangerous street racing is, we've had a number of people killed because of street racers."
The number of incidents, she says, is plateauing. Still, if more is needed, Mitchell says they have no problem adjusting the punishment's severity.
"The Legislature increased the penalties and of course, it more severe things happen because of street racing, because of death or serious injury, we have in our hands, we can charge aggravated assault, which is a mandatory prison sentence as well as manslaughter," she said.
12News reached out to Julie Gunnigle's campaign for Maricopa County Attorney about this issue and it sent a statement saying:
"We need to be using evidence-based strategies, and that starts with community education. We can get to the root cause of risky behavior by getting out into the community, listening to residents, getting the word out in schools and enlisting community support to address the problem."
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