Car racers would face enhanced penalties

Drivers convicted of racing their cars could face up to three years in prison, under a proposal before the General Assembly to enhance penalties for reckless driving and negligent homicide.

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Under the legislation, first-time penalties for illegal racing would increase to $600 from the current $150. The impetus of the proposal was the horrendous April crash in Shelton that killed Brianna Torres Carter, 23, of Bridgeport and Shalymar Herrera, 18, of West Haven. The bill was proposed by Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, D-Bridgeport, and Rep. Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven.

Penalties for subsequent convictions for racing under the state’s laws against, could reach $1,000, while in the case of fatalities, drivers could be sentenced to three years in prison and fined $3,500 for negligent homicide.

Lawrence Carter, Torres Carter’s husband, and Abdulaziz Yuldoshev of Hamden were charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. The unborn child of Torres Carter was also killed in the crash, estimated at about 80 mph along the busy two-lane state road linking Shelton and Stratford along the Housatonic River.

Police said that Carter and Yuldoshev passed and repassed each other before Carter was cut off by Yuldoshev’s car. Carter lost control and traveled over the center line of the road, colliding head-on with another vehicle.