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Orange County, California

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John Bisnar
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UC Riverside Student Dies in Auto Accident

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Racing drivers charged with felonies.

A 21-year-old UC Riverside student from Orange was killed early Friday morning in a auto accident on the eastbound 60 (Pomona) Freeway in Riverside, according to authorities, as reported in the Orange County Register.

A BMW Z4 and a Toyota Celica were racing at about 100 mph when the driver of the Toyota veered onto the right shoulder, where it struck a metal guardrail and overturned at about 12:25 a.m., according to the Riverside California Highway Patrol.

The UC Riverside student, who was wearing her seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to Riverside CHP officer Jacquelyn Parent, the victim’s identity wasn’t released, pending family notification.

Additional passengers, John Tran, 20 of Los Angeles and Patrick Lee, 21, of Chino Hills were also injured along with the driver, Lincoln Vu, 22, of Northridge who sustained minor injuries. Tran’s sustained major head injuries. Lee sustained moderate injuries, Parent said.

Both Vu and the driver of the BMW, Dong Shim, have been arrested and are being held at Riverside County Jail. They are being held on felony charges of engaging in a speed contest that causes great bodily injury or death.

All of the involved parties are friends and attend UC Riverside.

This is at least the third auto street racing fatality in the Inland Empire in a month. And yes, all parties to illegal street racing accidents can be held criminally and civilly liable for injures caused.

The article did not say if there was a restraint system failure (air bag or seat belt) or some other defect that contributed to the death (tire blow out, stability issue, roof crush or roadway conditions). The investigation is on going.