Racing long a problem

first_img• Photo Gallery: Dangerous intersection in El Monte• Video: Tragedy in El Monte EL MONTE – Street racing is nothing new to residents along Parkway Drive. Many say the revving of engines and the squeal of tires is a nearly daily occurrence along the wide, straight roadway on the southeastern edge of town. But that fact did not lessen the horror of what occurred on this busy residential street Monday night, when 41-year-old Dora Groce and her two children, Robert, 8, and Catherine, 4, were killed in a fiery collision allegedly caused by street racers. “It’s a good place to race,” said Anthony Metranga, who lives one house away from the intersection of Parkway Drive and Elliott Avenue, where the deadly accident took place. “It’s a straightaway, there are hardly any officers around and no speed bumps. I am telling you, it’s scary.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityPolice are still seeking El Monte resident Martin Morones, 21, suspected of driving a light brown Honda Accord involved in the accident. Another El Monte man, 19-year-old Robert Canizalez, is being held on $3 million bail at El Monte City Jail. Investigators believe Canizalez was driving a red Ford Mustang that slammed into Groce’s car, causing it to crash into a Ford F-150 pickup truck and burst into flames. Both men are expected to be charged with three counts of murder today, with an additional felony hit-and-run charge for Morones, said Lt. Ken Alva of the El Monte Police Department. Police have not determined the speed at which Canizalez and Morones were allegedly driving. But Alva said witnesses have given estimates of between 60 and 70 mph. Parkway Drive has a 25 mph limit. Racing is not only commonplace on Parkway Drive, but even on the narrow streets of the adjacent Brookside Mobile Country Club, where the Groces and Moroneses both lived. Stephen Groce, 44, who lost his wife and two children, in Monday’s accident, has seen races throughout the neighborhood, and worried about it. “They race each other on Alpine,” Groce said, pointing to the small street in front of his double-wide mobile home. “They do it all over the place here. It’s moronic.” Groce never imagined street racing would lead to the loss of his wife and children. A memorial service will be held for the Groces at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pierce Brothers Mortuary Chapel at 1136 E. Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel. Police have records of only three complaints about excessive speeding along the stretch of Parkway Drive between Elliott Avenue and Magnolia Drive, said Alva. There have been five major traffic accidents along the same stretch of roadway over the past two years, Alva added. But a random sampling of residents in the neighborhood suggested that problems with racing on the street have been a constant issue for years. Several residents of the neighborhood between Elliott Avenue and Klingerman Street said they had witnessed races and called in complaints to the police. Mayor Ernie Gutierrez said the City Council plans to examine the street racing issue at its meeting Tuesday. City traffic engineers are looking at the area to determine what can be done, and Gutierrez has suggested the creation of “Traffic Watch” groups based on the Neighborhood Watch concept – with residents trained to spot racers, take down their license plates and pass the information on to police. The council also will consider issuing a reward for the capture of Morones, Gutierrez said. A bank account has been established by friends and family of the Groces to help cover funeral costs and other expenses. Those interested in donating should call the Bank of Eastern Oregon at (541) 676-9125 or write to Bank of Eastern Oregon, P.O. Box 39, Heppner, Ore., 97836. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img