Drag race crash kids to talk at assembly

21:22, Sep 18 2009

A group of teenagers who organised an illegal drag race after school which ended in a three-car crash want to tell classmates how they were "foolish and dangerous".

Wairarapa College deputy principal Peter Haworth said a 16-year-old passenger in one of the cars that raced side by side on Wednesday night on a rural Masterton road had asked to address a special assembly. The accident left three cars mangled and one girl seriously hurt in Wellington Hospital. The gathering will be held on Tuesday to discuss the teens' narrow escape.

The drag race ended when the two cars crashed after clipping head-on a Land Cruiser being driven by farmer Lindy Williamson, who is still nursing bruising and whiplash.

The 16-year-old girl who drove one of the cars remains in Wellington Hospital. It is understood her pelvis has been broken in 10 places.

"We are hoping to bring in someone who runs organised drag racing events to talk about the safe and right way to do things, and some of the kids involved have suggested they address the assembly and say what they did was foolish and dangerous," Mr Haworth said. "They have been really shaken and feel they have a message they should tell."

The plan for the race was hatched by the group of four 16-year-olds during their lunch break at Wairarapa College.

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A girl passenger travelling in the injured girl's car was unscathed and returned to school on Thursday. One of the boys in the second car was treated in Wairarapa Hospital and is expected to be released this weekend. His friend, who was in the same car, received minor injuries and returned to school yesterday.

As serious crash unit officers continue to investigate, with decisions on any charges being put on hold, calls have been made for police to rid the roads of boy racers.

Mrs Williamson's husband, Gwyn, said teenagers and their attitudes to driving were "out of control". In nine years the couple had lived in their rural Masterton home, more than a dozen serious accidents had happened near their property, most involving "racers," he said. "These kids have total disregard to their fellow human beings and we as a district are utterly sick of being subjected to these risks. Something has to be done to send a message out."

Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said Wairarapa, like any area, had problems with young people driving dangerously and too fast from time to time. "It is an area that we are constantly looking at and where we have complaints and information about bad driving areas and congregations of young drivers, we target that area."

The Dominion Post