COPRUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, police investigators believed speed may have been a factor to the crash that killed two Ray High School seniors.
On Wednesday, police officials added racing may have been a cause to the crash.
Police officials said racing differs from speeding when more than one car is involved.
While punishment for speeding is typically limited to just a ticket, racing is a class B misdemeanor, and someone pulled over for racing could be arrested, have their car impounded and face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
If speeding results in a severe injury or death, the charge becomes a second degree felony, and those charged would face 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Lt. Michael Peña, the Public Information Officer for Corpus Christi Police Department, said it will take some time to determine the cause of Tuesday’s crash, and who is at fault.
“I’m pretty sure people have been involved in an accident at one point in their lives. It doesn’t take that long; the officers go out there and investigates it, and it’s done,” Peña said. “But obviously in a fatality crash, there’s a lot of evidence, statements, a lot of investigating, so it can take some time.”
Peña said if the cause of the crash is determined to be due to racing, the case would be presented to the District Attorney’s office to determine if charges will be filed against neither, one, or both of the drivers.
Peña said there have not been reports of drivers racing on the stretch of Port Avenue where the accident happened, but there have been reports of racing along Ocean Drive, and the CCPD has increased patrols in that area.
Peña said if residents see people racing, or are aware of areas where drivers frequently race, to let police know.
“Give us a call, that way we can be aware, shift our resources there, and address it,” he said. “It’s not always the racers that are injured, it might be somebody who’s coming through the intersection, and here come these two people racing, and they get injured.”
But Peña has one simple response when it comes to racing.
“Don’t race, it’s not worth it,” he said. “You could lose your life, you could kill somebody else, and you could spend 20 years in jail for a race. It’s not worth it.”