Watch CBS News

'Take It To The Track': Families Of Street Racing Victims Urge Young Drivers To Slow Down And Keep It Legal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Home surveillance video shows two cars racing through a residential neighborhood in Willowbrook at more than 80 mph. Those cars ran a stop sign, and slammed into a 23-year-old woman who did not survive.

That woman was Bethany, the niece of Lori Argumendo.

"A piece of you dies with them, and I didn't know how to recover from that," Argumendo says.

street racing victims
(credit: Automobile Club Of Southern California)

The crash that killed Bethany was in 2019. And even though streets and freeways became eerily empty in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the California Highway Patrol says they responded to more than 25,000 calls involving illegal racing in 2020.

Lili Trujillo Puckett started an awareness group after losing her 16-year-old daughter to a street racing crash in 2013.

"For something that could have been completely preventable," she said. "That's when my mission was born."

The two women are working with the CHP and the Automobile Club to educate young drivers about the consequences of street racing. Their latest tactic is to ask parents to be aware that if their children are adding after-market products to their cars, they might also be involved in something dangerous.

"Kids are modifying their cars to the point where the machine is something they can't handle," CHP Officer Christian Baldonado said.

Argumendo understands some drivers feel the need for speed, but she wants them to remember to keep it off the streets.

"It's not worth it, it's definitely not worth it. Take it to the track," she said. "We have partnered with CHP and LASD motor sports, and they race the kids at the track. They can go race a cop and not get a ticket on the track. So keep it safe, in a safe and legal environment."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.