Drag racers injure family in East Elmhurst: DA

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Two men are under arrest for allegedly racing each other on the streets of East Elmhurst on Memorial Day and injuring a family in the process, the Queens district attorney said.

Jeffrey Duarte, 20, of Northern Boulevard´╗┐, and Adalvin Garcia, 22, of Pennsylvania, were arraigned last Thursday on assault, reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, reckless driving and speed contest and ordered held on bail, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

The two were allegedly driving Acura cars near 85th Street and 23rd Avenue when they struck a third vehicle and sent the four family members in that car to the hospital, according to the DA.

“These illegal drag races pose a tremendous danger to innocent pedestrians, passengers and other motorists,” he said in a statement. “It is a miracle that no one was killed as the two alleged drag racers — traveling at a high rate of speed — each struck an innocent family riding in their own car.”

The incident took place around 9:15 p.m., when several eyewitnesses saw the two drive at a high speed and swerve in and out of lanes as they raced each other, Brown said. A Lincoln sedan that was being driven by Wilson Torres turned onto the street and Duarte and Garcia crashed into it, according to Brown.

Torres suffered a fractured hip and a spinal injury; his wife, who was in the passenger’s seat, suffered lacerations all over her body; and their 12-year-old son, who was in the back seat with his 7-year-old brother, also had lacerations, the DA said. The younger brother had substantial pain from the collision, Brown said.

“A vehicle weighing in excess of 2,500 pounds, weaving in and out of traffic and traveling at speeds greater than 60 miles an hour, becomes a dangerous missile when racing down a city street,” he said.

Duarte and Garcia’s licenses were suspended and they were ordered to return to court June 15, according to the DA. If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison, Brown said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 10:50 am, October 12, 2011
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