Laveen residents raise concerns about reckless driving, street racing after crash

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The issue of street racing came up again after a man was killed when police said he may have been speeding and crashed near 67th Avenue and Baseline Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The issue of street racing came up again after a man was killed when police said he may have been speeding and crashed near 67th Avenue and Baseline Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Neighbors in Laveen are fed up with street racing in their area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Neighbors in Laveen are fed up with street racing in their area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On social media, neighbors linked the crash to broader concerns about reckless driving and street racing in the area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On social media, neighbors linked the crash to broader concerns about reckless driving and street racing in the area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Neighbors want stricter enforcement of street racing in Laveen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Neighbors want stricter enforcement of street racing in Laveen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
LAVEEN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

People in Laveen say police need to step up enforcement of reckless drivers and street racers after a deadly crash near 67th Avenue and Baseline Road.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arthur-Rey Bustos ran a stop sign on Vineyard Road around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, hitting another driver on 67th Avenue. Bustos died at the scene.

The woman driving the other vehicle was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

[RELATED: Laveen family sorry for crash that claimed their loved one, injured another]

[ORIGINAL STORY: Man killed in T-bone crash that sent engine block flying, woman injured]

A witness said she saw Bustos doing donuts in the street and MCSO Sgt. Calbert Gillett confirmed detectives found tire marks consistent with that activity.

On social media, neighbors linked the crash to broader concerns about reckless driving and street racing in the area.

“It happens all the time behind my house. It’s scary,” one person wrote on the Laveen Village Block Watch page.

“[The Phoenix Police Department] needs to start getting busy cracking down on street racing as it seems to be a huge problem in our area,” wrote another.

Brittany Conklin said street racers regularly meet in a shopping center near 19th Avenue and Baseline Road. She said she hears them racing down Baseline up to four times a week.

“We're worried about anyone being out there driving – just innocently going home, going to work, maybe going to the grocery store – being caught up in that street racing or reckless driving,” she said.

In February, Phoenix police and DPS arrested 23 people and issued more than 100 tickets in a single street-racing bust, but Conklin said the races are not slowing down.

She said twice after reporting incidents to police and posting online warnings to neighbors, members of a street racing group posted threatening messages aimed at her.

“[They] posted my home address, my telephone number, and suggested that their members retaliate against me for calling the police,” she said.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said the department is on the lookout for illegal street racing.

“We have a group of officers that monitors social media and other information sources for parties and other impromptu gatherings that tend to generate criminal activity, including unsafe driving,” he said via e-mail. “The officers coordinate with other Valley agencies to follow, educate, and enforce the groups’ activities.”

Conklin hopes Monday night’s crash sends a sobering message.

“We need the police to do more. We need the courts to do more. We need this to be a warning call to the street racers that this isn't a question of if they're going to get in an accident; it's a question of when,” Conklin said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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