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Speed racing exacts high price

by: Jim Hart, 
Ali McDonald displays some of the art that represents her answer to the question: What makes us real? Her answer, “connections,” is shown in the myriad of media used to display the varied connections in her life.

Whether one is male or female, the teen years and speed racing seem to have an affinity for one another; just ask any West Linn police officer.

The price is high for anyone caught in the act: jail time, costs of posting bail, loss of driving privileges, citation fines, attorney and court fees, community service, probation costs, impound fees and the cost of towing and storage.

And perhaps the teens' parents will exact a price from their child.

The latest example took place just after midnight last Saturday morning. As Officer Tony Poitras entered southbound I-205 on his way to the Willamette area, he said he noticed two vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed.

Leading the more-than-100-mph pursuit was a 17-year-old girl from Willamette, driving a black Infinity sedan. The officer watched in amazement as a silver Mitsubishi sedan driver, just a month out of his teens, tried to pass the Infinity, but was thwarted by the girl's actions.

In his report, Poitras alleges that the Mitsubishi tried to pass the Infinity several times, but was blocked in all attempts.

While following the racers and trying to catch up, Officer Poitras was shocked to see the Infinity brake and the two vehicles nearly collide at more than 100 mph.

Poitras' lights and siren succeeded in gaining the drivers' attention, and they stopped near the 10th Street exit.

Driving the Mitsubishi was Thomas A. de la Garza, 20, 2070 Doral Court. He was charged with reckless driving and lodged at the Clackamas County Jail in lieu of $7,500 bail. He also was cited for driving without insurance, speed racing and speeding 101/55.

Driving the Infinity was a 17-year-old female, who also lives in the Willamette area. She was cited for no insurance, speeding 101/55 and speed racing.

Both vehicles were impounded.