Cedar Park Police ID second driver possibly involved in crash that killed 2 children
Cedar Park Police say they have identified a second driver possibly involved in a fatal crash that killed two young brothers last week. But police aren't ready say what charges this driver might face.
The driver may have been racing the pickup that collided with the family. Under Texas law if two drivers are found to have been racing before a crash, both of them could have to pay for what happens next.
Witnesses say the truck that struck the family’s SUV was racing. As a result Hayden Michael Hammer, 18, stands charged with racing causing death. Cedar Park Police Commander Bryan Wukasch says, “We did make the best charging decision in conjunction with the Williamson County District Attorney's Office given the way the statute is written in The Texas transportation code. We felt this was the most appropriate charge."
Local criminal defense attorney J. Stephen Toland tells us the legislature is sending a message by making this crime a felony. He explains, “The legislature I think in carving out the specifics of what racing is, is really going a long way in trying to say there is no scenario in which it's a victimless crime because it's just too dangerous."
In this particular case something went horribly wrong. A family pulled into their path. And while only one driver hit them, the second driver could face similar charges. Toland says, “It's really a question of causation. It's difficult to say their actions didn't cause, or at least that's the argument the state is going to make ... that they're just as culpable because they're each racing each other and that tie-in is the racing clause we see in the transportation code."
The charge against Hammer is a second degree felony. Under Texas law that means if he's convicted he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.