Local News

Troopers: Street racing too common among teen drivers

Posted May 15

— Illegal street races have resulted in the deaths of three Orange County teens in the last 17 months, and authorities said Thursday that races are far too common, especially among teen drivers.

Last month, Desmond Piccini, 16, of Mebane, died when his car hit a rock wall along Lebanon Road near Mebane and flipped.

The State Highway Patrol said Piccini was racing at the time. On Wednesday, they filed racing charges against Kameron Clevenger, 19, of 500 Stonewall Drive in Mebane, and Pavel Jones, 18, of 506 S. Fourth St. in Mebane.

A passenger in Piccini's car, McCray Williams, 16, of 1426 Payne Road in Graham, was charged with aiding and abetting a pre-arranged speed competition.

Williams also survived an illegal race on Dec. 29, 2012, that killed William Daniel Chase Underhill, 16, of Durham, and Kacie Leann Chamberlain, 16, of Rougemont. Troopers said Underhill lost control of his pickup on Little River Church Road in the Hurdle Mills community in northern Orange County and hit a tree.

Williams said Thursday that Piccini and Clevenger weren't racing last month and were only being teenagers.

Trooper Michael Baker said teens are more likely to race than older drivers.

"In the day and age that we live in, with all the electronic tech (dashboard) displays, racing is a very thrill-seeking event," Baker said. "Teens don't have the driving history to understand how easy it is to be hurt or killed by a motor vehicle."

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  • btneast May 16, 10:39 a.m.

    [bYou want to stop it; make the penality for doing it hurt. How about: you race - you lose your car and have it sold at auction][/b]
    That is the penalty in many states. In Nc, its a 3 year loss of license and they seize your car. You have top pay a bond that is at least twice the value of your car. These penalties have always been around, but has that ever stopped a teenager?

  • sinenomine May 16, 9:06 a.m.

    The photograph accompanying this article shows what I assume to be a roadside memorial erected to the memory of the street racer killed in this totally preventable crash. In my opinion the inclusion of the photo might have the tendency among certain groups to legitimize or glorify the dangerous exploits of creeps like this. When a street racer kills him/herself rather than someone else an innocent person's life may have been spared by their doing so. When they kill someone else they are as good as a murderer. And what kind of learning curve has this guy got who was a participant in two separate street racing incidents?

  • idontthinkso5 May 16, 8:45 a.m.

    We need a local track. Problem solved!

  • kre2 May 16, 8:43 a.m.

    You want to stop it; make the penality for doing it hurt. How about: you race - you lose your car and have it sold at auction. The same with DWI. Confiscate their vehicles and sell them. After a few teenagers lose their cars, the activity will cease.

  • scubagirl2 May 16, 8:30 a.m.

    Teens always have and always will think they are invincible.....

  • "Screen Name-8/20" May 15, 6:48 p.m.

    "Troopers: Street racing too common among teen drivers"

    When was it not?

    I'm 67, we did it back in my days in the 50s and 60s, and I know my Dad and his brothers all did it before me, right after the invention of the automobile.

    The town I grew up in finally put a public park right down the middle of the street where we all once did it. The kids that came after us just went to another main street, and the park caused dozens of businesses, now difficult to get to because of no parking and people having to walk blocks to get to them, to fail.

    I don't know what the answer is. I don't think there really is one.

    Praying for those who lost their lives doing so though, and for their loved ones.

  • sunshine1040 May 15, 6:04 p.m.

    Children if you like to race please take it to a track and find a car with some safety devises installed. Yes you can get hurt and even die but there is no reason to take others that are on their way to the Doctors office or to a church with you.