Two Santa Clara Street Racers Sentenced In The Death Of A Bystander

Last year, two street racers in Texas sporting a matching set of Vettes made the canon of YouTube infamy as they launched their C5 and C6s hard off the line, only to have the C5 go sideways and smash into the side of its stoplight race competitor. It was an online showcase that would take a year to be punished, and it made all of us wonder just why it took so long for Texas law to justify the act that could have potentially hurt or killed innocent bystanders crossing the street.

Some just never learn no matter how many times they screw things up, and at this point we would think that many Vette and other motoring enthusiasts would have learned their lesson about the catastrophic effects of illegal street racing, given that so many deaths are attributed to street racing as a whole.

Our featured story out of Santa Clara, California involves Mercedes and Corvette drivers, Vincent Mergonoto and Chandra Purnama, who last year were traveling along Santa Clara’s Kiely Boulevard between speeds of 80 to 88 miles per hour according to prosecutor Michel Amaral.

Vincent Mergonoto and Chandra Purnama have been sentenced to 364 days in jail by Santa Clara judge Rene Navarro in connection with the March, 2011 death of Ashley Krieger. 23-year-old Krieger was killed after being struck by Mergonoto's Mercedes.

On March 20th, 2011 around 10:30 PM, 23-year-old Ashley Krieger was leaving her job at a local bowling alley when she was struck in her Honda by a CLS 63 driven by San Jose, California local Mergonoto who was racing San Francisco local, Purnama who was behind the wheel of a rented Vette.

Both Mergonoto and Purnama have been sentenced by Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Rene Navarro to 364 days in jail each, the sentencing following a request for leniency by Krieger’s parents, Lance and Lori Krieger, who had written the request on February 22nd of this year.

Though the Kriegers did request that Mergonoto and Purnama be put on probation with community service, Navarro still felt that jail time was an appropriate sentence for the reckless behavior. “Given the circumstances with the loss of life, they deserve time in custody,” said Navarro during the court hearing.

It’s been said that it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, but is drag racing really worthy anyone’s time when lives are at stake? A word of advice: shell out the few bucks that it takes to get admission into your local dragstrip. Otherwise, keep your car keys on the kitchen counter and have your XBox ready!

About the author

Salvatore Alaimo

After graduating from California State University, Northridge, California, Sal Alaimo Jr. has continued with his passion of the automotive industry. Alaimo's been an auto enthusiast since his early years, and grew up learning about cars from his father, Sal Alaimo Sr. If its got a set of fat rear tires and 8-cylinders, Alaimo Jr. is all for it. Today, Alaimo Jr. brings with him a pool of enthusiasm and pride as a contributing freelance writer for Chevy Hardcore.
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