Friday, March 21, 2008

Buffalo Gap road racing fatality leads to felony charges

In the wee hours of the morning on October 23, 2007, on a straight stretch of Rt. 42 in the rural Buffalo Gap area of Augusta County, several vehicles raced one another at speeds exceeding 100 mph. By 3:00 a.m. tragedy had struck and 18-year-old passenger Brittany Engleman was dead.

Road crews had earlier repaired that section of Rt. 42. A patch of loose gravel caused 22-year-old Cory Beasley to lose control at 100 mph and flip several times, killing his passenger. Several others were arrested including 22-year-old Torrance Mack, who was racing Beasley, and 21-year-old Robert Gaylor who was parked in the Buffalo Gap High School lot having just completed a race. Who knows how many others were there since they may have scattered after the wreck to avoid detection by the state police.

Road racing in the county is popular throughout the nation. While living in a rural area of North Carolina years ago, we had an incident where the high school students were playing "chicken" on the road, racing toward one another on the same side of the road at a high rate of speed to see which one would be "chicken" first and pull away to the opposite lane to avoid a head-on crash. Only problem was, neither driver "chickened" out and they both ended up dead. They were only teenagers.

This brings to mind the proposed motocross track at Expoland. Wouldn't it be nice to offer an alternative to local young people? I doubt it would completely do away with road racing ... but it could help.


Anonymous said...

Im the mother to Brittany Nicole and I just found this artical, thank you for taking the time to post on the story, and for know such detail of the accident. Racing was and is still a problem. Brittany was the most loving and caring person you could ever meet. I live the earliy morning hours of Oct 23 2007 every single day. I pray for justices. No one is going to be a winner in the outcome. Everyone has lost. Thank you again for taking the time to cover my this and bring light to it...

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Our prayers are with you and your family at such a difficult time. I cannot imagine losing one of my children so, though I don't know your pain from personal experience, I can imagine the heartbreak you are going through. Thank you for commenting about this tragic story.