Fiery crash was racing-related - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fiery crash was racing-related

Trooper Kyle Long Trooper Kyle Long

October 20, 2003

Baker County-- We see drag racing glamorized in some movies. But in reality, it's illegal, dangerous, even deadly. And it may well have been drag racing that led to a fiery crash in South Georgia this weekend.

State Troopers say that the problem is getting out of hand. People who live along County Road 15 say it's become a mecca for illegal racing. "They drag over here all the time, this is a drag strip on Sundays," said Trooper Kyle Long of the Ga. State Patrol.

Thirty-one-year old Alonza Curry, of Oakfield, burned to death while trapped inside of his car. "There was fire involved, the vehicle was totally consumed by fire. He had no chance to get out of the vehicle," said Trooper Long.

Troopers say he was traveling south at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his Mustang. "From the roadway evidence we have it appears that he was on the wrong side of the road when he left the roadway on the east side here and struck a utility pole and then the tree," Long said.

The charred white Mustang was equipped for racing. It had roll bars, Nitrous Oxide, fuel cell and a high powered engine. "Racing on the streets is definatley illegal. Even the participation, the crowd, everybody can be prosecuted and if we do happen to find that there was racing or their is racing we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," said Long.

Though Curry is dead, troopers say this investigation is far from over. Troopers say they will crack down on illegal drag racing. The are urging anyone who suspects drivers are racing illegally to call their local law enforcment agency. The owner of a South Georgia race track is also mourning the death of Curry.

John Baldwin owns the U.S. 19 Dragway . He was a close friend of Alonza Curry. Baldwin says he's watched his friends race on his track dozens of times.

 Now he's urging all drivers who want to race to do so legally and safely. "You see these movies like the fast and the furious and all that and they're racing on the street that's not the place to do it," said Baldwin. "Go to a race track if not here go some where. Go where there's a controlled environment where if something bad does go wrong, the people and the equipment are in place to take care of it."

Baldwin says his track is open to the public every Sunday. The track not only has a high tech computer speed tracking device, but is also equipped with guard rails, fire fighting equipment, and, on race days certified paramedics are always on hand.

posted at 5:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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