Police: Street racing may be to blame for deadly New Haven crash

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–It’s a straight shot on Long Wharf drive almost as far as the eye can see. That’s what makes it so appealing to street racers. However, if you have driven on the road, you will notice there lots of construction. Mixed with speed, that is a deadly combination.

Police say a car carrying three people hit a construction barrier on Long Wharf Drive a little after 12 a.m. on Sunday. According to a report, one person was ejected from the vehicle but lived. Another was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries and is in critical condition. However, the third, 20-year-old Olvin Viera, who had been sitting in the middle of car, died.

RELATED: Long history of street racing on Long Wharf Drive

Police think the driver may have been street racing in the car before it crashed, because it was enhanced and turbo charged, changes that could make it race car. That’s something they say people often do on Long Wharf Drive.

“We do set out details, specialized details to try and infiltrate these groups that are going to set up to race, but the problem is the minute they see us, they go somewhere else,” said officer David Hartman of New Haven police.

Police said they had been watching Long Wharf for street racers recently, but say they can’t watch them 24-hours a day, and officers say the racers move quickly.

“The races can be executed in a matter of a minute or two, and then they are gone,” said Hartman.

Police say the street racers like those seen video we show, are calculated and organized, working meticulously to get around police.

“Where people gather is not necessarily where they are going to race,” said Hartman.

Although sometimes street racers evade police, they play a dangerous game, not only with their lives, but the lives of other cars and people who share the roads.

New haven police say it is still early in their investigation, but charges could be brought.

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