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Suspected Street Racer Dies in Crash Near Elementary School in Ontario

A Montclair man, 18, was allegedly racing on 6th Street when he hit a car head on. Students were at lunch but none were injured.

May 14, 2003|Lance Pugmire and Kristina Sauerwein | Times Staff Writers

An 18-year-old high school student allegedly racing his car in front of an Ontario elementary school died on Tuesday when he crashed head-on into a car, police said.

Magin Alvarez Jr. of Montclair was driving on 6th Street at up to 80 mph when he steered into opposing traffic and collided with a car.

No elementary school children were injured in the crash, which occurred around lunchtime, an Ontario Police spokesman said.

Alvarez was racing with another car and apparently crossed a double yellow line to pass a car stopped at a crosswalk next to Vineyard Elementary School, said Ontario Police Sgt. John Evans.

Alvarez's car -- with a smashed-in hood and broken windshield -- came to rest against a chain-link fence on school grounds at 11:44 a.m. while schoolchildren ate lunch and played on swings and slides.

Alvarez suffered a broken neck and head trauma in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tammy Anderwald of Rancho Cucamonga, the driver of the second car, was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton and treated for a broken ankle and cuts to her face, Evans said.

David Bradley, an 18-year-old classmate of Alvarez at Valley View High School in Ontario, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder for allegedly racing with Alvarez. The engine of Bradley's car had been modified for street racing, Evans said.

Ontario has long been a haven for street racers because of its wide, industrial streets, but 6th Street is not typically a trouble spot, Evans said. He said he hopes a possible murder charge against Bradley and publicity about the case will deter others.

Ontario police have conducted several street racing sweeps in the last year, netting 300 to 400 arrests, Evans said.

Racing is so popular that, to help keep people off the street, the California Speedway in Fontana allows people to drag race on some Saturday nights during the summer -- for a fee.

Evans said Tuesday's crash, and the May 1 street race that killed a 74-year-old woman in Santa Ana, shows there is a need for city and state legislation to crack down on racing. "This city has a drag-racing problem," Evans said. "Yes, it usually happens at night, but these last two have happened in the day. Something needs to be done."

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