CBD drag racers crash into crowd

Seconds after the two red VW Golf 1s took off from the lower end of Victoria Street racing each other up towards the Boshoff Street intersection, spectators had to dive for cover when the Golf using the oncoming lane as its track collided into an oncoming vehicle, then into his competitor’s Golf finally veering off the road into the crowd.

An eye witness who wished to remain anonymous explained what happened.

“They took over both lanes in Victoria Road leaving no space for oncoming traffic. In the midst of the high speed race, one of the participants tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle by veering into the other lane but everything went horribly wrong and he crashed into the oncoming vehicle, then into the competitor’s Golf before plunging into the crowd,” said the eye witness.

Grey’s Hospital public relations officer Zamo Mntwunga said the hospital admitted several MVA (motor vehicle accident) victims on Sunday but could not provide any details on the patients due to confidentiality issues.

Onlookers alleged that in the aftermath of the accident both dragsters attempted to cover up their involvement in the illegal event.

“One of the drivers tore off his registration disc and fled the scene while the driver of the other Golf swapped seats with a passenger, either his wife or girlfriend while they remained on the scene waiting for police to arrive,” said an onlooker.

The latest incident has renewed calls for the city to help eradicate illegal drag racing by increasing law enforcement and by allocating land for the development of a legal drag racing facility.

Two years ago the chairman of  Sidewayz motorsport club Michael Chetty together with others in the fraternity called on the city council to help establish a regulated, legal facility to cater for growing sport.

“We need a safe place for them to race legally under formal conditions,” said Chetty.  He suggested then that even speed humps would not deter the illegal dragsters as they would simply find alternate streets in which to race.

Illegal drag racing usually takes place after 12pm on designated stretches of road known to the drag racing community who use social media to co-ordinate their activities.

Acting city spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said an application for an off-street racing venue had been received by the City and was subject to a lengthy process that was already underway.

“We must reiterate that it is illegal for motorists to drag race on the city’s streets and we will be monitoring this strictly,” said Madonda.

Zaheer Mahomed, chairman of the Illegal to Legal drag racing club, said they have been in talks with the municipality to finalise a lease for the use of the Mason’s Mill area as a legal drag strip.

To view video footage and more pics from Saturday’s drag racing visit www.maritzburgsun.co.za

Watch videos of the scene below:

Siso Naile

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