Jerry V.: "I was so shook I couldn’t focus on the vehicles’ tail lights.”
May Carrasco and her Imperial Beach neighbors noticed an increase in fast and reckless drivers on roadways since lockdown.
“Cars race up and down the streets of IB all the time,” she said on May 3, “whether it’s in a school zone or a 25 mph zone. I saw a kid on his skateboard get hit on the corner of Palm and Florida, by the infamous McDonald’s where accidents happen all the time.”
Carrasco, 39, works for the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, and on her treks to and from work, she’s witnessed more and more “people running red lights and stop signs …. just like what happened to that green Lamborghini.”
Last month, Carrasco’s IB-neighbor posted photos of a $200,000-plus Lamborghini Huracan that appeared to be sideswiped or “t-boned” earlier that night on the corner of 9th and Palm Avenue, a couple blocks west from where the skateboarder was struck.
“Most of it is because of the younger generation driving with no precautions,” Carrasco opined. “And some people who live in Mexico and work here, sometimes drive like it’s still Mexico. We need to implement the camera systems again.”
In early 2018, a teen driving a Porsche reportedly struck and killed a man in the same vicinity, then fled on foot and was caught a couple of blocks west from where the Lambo was hit on Palm Avenue.
“I think it’s always been bad on the streets,” said Christopher Wood, “but with COVID-19 and people not being out, they think they have to drive faster since not a lot of people are on the roads.”
Wood is a 39-year-old active Navy man who lives in IB. He’s filed police reports about implementing speed bumps in his neighborhood, and he yells at people speeding. On April 29, Wood saw Facebook photos posted by his neighbor of a vehicle that careened up and into an auto carrier on Palm Avenue earlier that day.
“I’ve seen everything from the daily driver to Lamborghinis to trucks, [get hit] — my truck has personally been hit four times when I’ve parked it on the street. I’ve also seen people riding bikes and walking almost get hit by cars driving excessively.”
Jerry V. is a local racer who meets with his race buddies in IB to shop-talk. I spoke to him and his buddy on May 4, and he admits to flooring the gas pedal “only on the freeways” to see if his souped up VW Scirocco still has it. The last time he raced his 40 year-old pocket rocket — legally — was at last year’s now defunct RaceLegal drag races.
Last year's Race Legal event
“I was going down the 805 freeway by Clairemont Mesa recently, just cruising at about 80 miles per hour,” he recounted, “then two cars passed me going 200 miles per hour.”
“What kind of cars were they?” I asked.
“Honestly, I was so shook I couldn’t focus on the vehicles’ tail lights. They were going so fast that my car was pushed like an 18-wheeler had passed, and within seconds they were out [of my vantage point].”
“I’ve seen videos of our kids drifting in large parking lots,” said Jerry’s race-buddy, “but dudes with big power, like Lambos and Skylines and Hemis, they’re roaming our streets and open freeways like they [are] on the Autobahn or some shit. If you race whatever, [whether it be] cars, trucks, ATV and UTVs, and speedboats, and are used to that adrenaline rush, tinkering with your ride at home during quarantine can only last so long.”
Jerry added that more auto enthusiasts are on the streets because, “we have nowhere to go to test our cars and stimulus (check) mods. Barona is closed and Qualcomm (RaceLegal) is gone.”
Last year, the then 21 year-old RaceLegal ⅛ mile race event shut down.
“Yeah we [paid] a little fee, like $30 to race and $10 to spectate,” Steven Viera said regarding the RaceLegal events. “But it’s for safety and for not getting your car taken away and for not killing someone. It’s well worth it.”
At the “Last Race” 1/8 mile race event in the SDCCU Stadium parking lot, Viera pulled a 5.27 second time slip at 131 mph in his Honda S2000 shoehorned with a Cadillac Escalade motor and a 88mm turbocharger.
“Some of these cars from the factory have 700-plus horsepower,” he said, “and these kids are getting them and now they have nowhere to race [legally].”