Fatal street racing crash may force enforcement change - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fatal street racing crash may force enforcement change

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This weekend 19-year-old Keleian Braden was killed after a street race went wrong. This weekend 19-year-old Keleian Braden was killed after a street race went wrong.
Police say 19-year-old Keleian Braden was turning left onto Sycamore View Road when a car slammed into him. Police say 19-year-old Keleian Braden was turning left onto Sycamore View Road when a car slammed into him.
On April 14, 2013, 20-year-old Jesse Moore was killed after police say two street racers slammed into his car. On April 14, 2013, 20-year-old Jesse Moore was killed after police say two street racers slammed into his car.
SHELBY COUNTY, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Another teen has been killed during an apparent street race, and this time it happened in Raleigh off Pleasant View Road and Thomas Road. It is the second teenage death from street racing in nearly a year's time, and now friends and family of the victims are calling for changes in enforcement.

Illegal street racing is nothing new, in fact it has always been an issue in Memphis. However, police say the state law makes it difficult to enforce.

On April 14, 2013, 20-year-old Jesse Moore was killed after police say two street racers slammed into his car. Almost a year later, Michelle Smith still cannot believe her son is gone.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him," said Smith. "I can be going down the interstate and see a couple mustangs just racing and I said 'Lord if they only knew that my son was taken from that.' "

But this weekend another young person, also watching street racing, was killed.

Police say 19-year-old Keleian Braden was turning left onto Sycamore View Road when a car slammed into him. His girlfriend, LaShawnna Watson, saw it happen and ran to try and save him.

"That car was on fire at the bottom but I didn't care, his seat was jammed, and I didn't want him to blow up," said Watson.

Braden died at the hospital.

Police say illegal street racing is not a new problem, but it is difficult to enforce. Major Tracy Gossett says charges can be upgraded to a felony if the crash results in serious injury or death.

"It is a misdemeanor in the state of Tenn. and because of that we have to catch them in action in order to actually charge them with it," said Gossett.

In the case of Jesse Moore, two men were indicted last month. The news of another death leaves Moore's mom wondering if it anyone will put the brakes on street racing.

"It needs to stop," she said. "If there's anyway that I could help to get it to stop, I would. But these kids they think they know everything I guess, and they just don't understand it could take their life. Like it did my son ... and he was 20."

Police says it is also a crime to watch street racing, though that too is difficult to enforce, especially when it is a big crowd.

WMC Action News 5 has reached out to several law makers to ask about changing the law from misdemeanor to a felony. We will let you know if we hear back.

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