UPDATE: Off-Duty Officer Was Killed by Illegal Drag Racers

divider

QUEENS, NY – The off-duty NYPD officer killed on the Cross Island Parkway on Saturday has been identified, according to the Queens Eagle. And in a further development, the newspaper reports that the white BMW which killed Officer Richard Holt had been engaged in an illegal street race with another vehicle, which sped off following the collision.

As previously reported, the driver of the white BMW waited at the scene and cooperated with police investigators. The victim was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens, where he was pronounced dead.

Officer Holt was the president of the local Unwanted LEMC motorcycle club, whose ranks include many law enforcement officers, and had been chosen to represent the organization in this year’s 9/11 parade. Though he had been reassigned to NYPD’s coronavirus task force, his usual beat was serving in the homeless outreach team.

“Rest in peace to our president. He is a brother, an original, a founder, a police officer, and a son,” Unwanted LEMC posted to its Facebook page.

Street Racing in New York

N.Y. VAT. LAW § 1182 : NY Code – Section 1182: Speed contests and races prohibits street races, stating “no races, exhibitions or contests of speed shall be held and no person shall engage in or aid or abet in any motor vehicle or other speed contest or exhibition of speed on a highway.” A first-time offense is a misdemeanor carrying a $300-525 fine with a jail sentence of up to 30 days. A second offense in a 12-month period is a Class E felony, carrying a fine of $525-750 and a six-month jail sentence.

Unfortunately, these penalties have not sufficiently curbed the rise of illegal street racing circuits, which the New York Post described in detail in October 2019. More recently, the New York Times reported on increased speeds across the city as the roadways emptied due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as elected officials’ concerns about a surge in street races. These trends were even summarized on this website.

Street racing is illegal for a good reason: it is dangerous, especially in a dense and pedestrian-packed city like New York. If you or someone you love has been injured or worse by a driver engaged in this sort of activity, you are entitled to financial compensation from the guilty party — and by pursuing litigation, you may be helping address a menace to your fellow citizens, too. Contact Finz & Finz, P.C., to discuss your case with one of our New York street racing injury attorneys today.